Pipeline 2011

January 15, 2011

While there may be some notable breakthroughs to brighten an otherwise bleak pharmaceutical pipeline for 2011, the overall outlook remains grim as the number of new drugs under development continues to shrink, compared to the glory days of just a few short years ago.

Key Points

While there may be some notable breakthroughs to brighten an otherwise bleak pharmaceutical pipeline for 2011, the overall outlook remains grim as the number of new drugs under development continues to shrink, compared to the glory days of just a few short years ago.

Although drugmakers and biotech companies may indeed have numerous projects under development, there is little chance that a new round of big blockbusters will arrive anytime soon to replace those that are losing patent protection in the coming months, according to industry consultants and researchers.

Meanwhile, the number of drugs for which new drug applications (NDAs) were filed dropped early last year to 125 from 160 in 2009. Previous years had seen this number rising steadily. Add to this the decline in the number of preclinical projects, which hit a peak of 250 in 2005 and then plummeted to just 60 in the first quarter of 2010.

As a result, notable shrinkage is apparent in the pipelines for several leading classes of drugs, including those that treat cardiovascular disease, central nervous system disorders, respiratory disorders, and diabetes.