Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Jump to Conclusions...Based on Data?

Nature Reviews Drug Discovery recently released a spate of articles recapping the tumultuous past decade in drug development. 

I'd like to highlight a specific article, titled "From the Analyst's Couch - A Decade of Drug Discovery." Written by one John Arrowsmith (of Thomson-Reuters data-crunching fame), it shows how the major players in the pharma biz have juggled around in the past 10 years. Note Roche and Novartis' upward trend: from 2001-2011, Roche went from 10th to 5th in market cap, and Novartis from 5th to 3rd.
Source: Thomson Reuters

Not bad at all. Any specific reasons behind those climbs? First, Roche's acquisition of Genentech certainly helped them out, with less of the messy transitions of the Pfizer-Wyeth or Merck-Schering mergers. Second, look at the massive uptick in R&D spending by Roche (blue) and Novartis (pink) over the past decade! 

Unless I'm mistaken, I read both companies' spending as roughly quadrupling, from ~$2 billion to nearly $8-9ish billion over the past decade. Wow.

Note also that Pfizer, making double their Lipitor take from a decade past, still showed mostly flat investment in R&D from 2003-2009.

Page Two shows us a bar graph of the radical shift in therapeutic areas (this include all drugs from P1 -> NDA). 

Source: Thomson Reuters
Looks like cancer meds / pain / diabetes are WAY up, and cardiovascular is way down. 

Perhaps another sign of a graying population? Readers, what's your take?

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