Top 6 drug research trends

A new report determines the trends fueling drug research and development over the past 10 years-and into the future.

A new report determines the trends fueling drug research and development over the past 10 years-and into the future.

Here are 6 of the top trends from the IQVIA Institute for Human Data report, “The Changing Landscape of Research and Development: Innovation, Drivers of Change, and Evolution of Clinical Trial Productivity”.

1. Developing innovative medicines continues to be a slow process. Twelve drugs launched more than 20 years after their first patent filing, “reflecting in some cases older mechanisms of action and the approval of drugs that had launched in countries outside the US,” IQVIA said in a press release. However, innovative new drugs that were launched in 2018 took a median of 13.7 years from the time of first patent filing to product launch, almost six months faster than the median of the past five years.

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2. Investment in medical innovation grew in 2018, “reflecting confidence in scientific development to propel new treatments to tackle unmet health needs across a broad range of diseases,” IQVIA said. More than 1,300 life science venture capital deals were closed in 2018 with an aggregate value of more than $23 billion, up from roughly $10 billion in deal value five years earlier, according to the National Venture Capital Association.

3. Emerging biopharma companies account for 72% of all late-stage pipeline activity, up from 61% 10 years ago. Large pharma companies with more than $10 billion in annual sales realized a 32% decline in research and development over the past 10 years. “This pipeline mix reflects smaller companies being most active in the fastest growing areas of oncology and orphan drugs, and their diminishing need for partnering or acquisition to develop and commercialize their innovative medicines,” IQVIA said.

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4. Eighty-five drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease failed in development over the past 10 years, “even as unmet needs remain significant and potential healthcare cost impacts loom over future generations,” IQVIA said.

5. Over the next 10 years, drug research will accelerate with several advances, including pools of pre-screened patients and direct-to-patient recruitment and patient-reported outcomes that will shed new light on patient experience and drug efficacy and safety outside the clinical setting. “As advances in science, technology and data gradually find application within clinical development, the length of time that trials take to complete, the resources required due to trial complexity and likelihood of trial success are all shifting, with impacts varying by therapy area,” said Murray Aitken, IQVIA senior vice president and executive director of the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science.

6. There will be regulatory changes that will encourage the adoption of precision medicine approaches and novel trial designs while providing means for accelerated drug approvals and regulatory success, IQVIA said.

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