According to Reuters, drug industry productivity is finally improving after years of research disappointment, as drugmakers shift their focus to making medicines for rarer, under-treated diseases. In response, more new drugs are reaching the market leading to higher success rates in the final stages of clinical development.
Here are some top signs demonstrating the upswing in drug industry productivity:
1. The number of innovative medicines, or new molecular entities, launched globally in 2011 hit a 10-year high of 31.
2. Advances in new treatments from Roche and Bristol-Myers Squibb for melanoma, the first new drug for lupus in half a century from GlaxoSmithKline, and two new hepatitis C drugs from Merck and Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
3. The number of experimental drugs submitted last year for regulatory approval was nearly double the 2007 level.
4. Drugs terminated in the final Phase III stage of clinical trials dropped markedly, to 45 in the last three years from 53 in 2008-10, according to the 2012 Pharmaceutical R&D Factbook from Thomson Reuters unit CMR International.
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