28 Jun 2012, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Pharmaceutical industry's emphasis on quality over quantity is working, as evidenced by a lower number of early phase projects and fewer phase III projects being terminated, combined with an increase in regulatory approvals, according to Thomson Reuters Annual Pharmaceutical Factbook.
According to the report, global pharmaceutical sales were highest ever reaching an all-time high of approximately $880 billion in 2011; with pharmaceutical companies reinvesting anywhere from two percent to 25 percent of sales in prescription drug R&D.
The number of most new molecular entities (NMEs) launched are at a ten-year high (increasing to 31). Regulators and payers are looking for safer, more effective and differentiated drugs given the large influx of generics. The industry is seeing the first signs of the response by pharma to increased R&D hurdles in the selection of drug candidates that are focused on diseases with high unmet medical need and, in many cases, targeted at stratified groups of patients (personalized medicine). This refocus is welcomed by the regulators and payers as reflected by the increased number of drug launches.
The report sites that anti-cancer development continues to attract highest amount of investment across all therapeutic areas. Also there is a marked turn in Phase III success as in the last three years there has been a notable increase in phase 3 project success rates. Besides, there is an increase in biologics in pharma R&D with higher clinical success rates and slower decline from peak sales, as well as an improvement in translating innovations in biological understanding from lab to patient.
"The pharmaceutical industry touches all of our lives, whether directly or indirectly. Having insight into the drivers of the outcomes in Pharma R&D is critical in planning strategies and operational improvements," said Jon Brett-Harris, executive vice president, Thomson Reuters. "This year's Factbook provides a unique view into the industry at a point when many pharma leaders are developing new strategies for growth. It unveils our thought-leaders' findings from extensive and proprietary data and is a valuable resource for clinical operations, project management, portfolio managers, licensing executives, venture capitalists, and pharmaceutical executives alike."
Information published in the Factbook is compiled by Thomson Reuters' Life Sciences Professional Services team and is based on proprietary primary sources, competitive intelligence, and public sources covering key trends in the pharmaceutical industry.