December 14, 2015

Looking Inside the Biotech Black Box (Part 16)


Some Market Data (1)

The global pharmaceutical market should hit $1 trillion in 2015. In this blog, I will highlight some public data on sales by product and therapeutic category. All of this information is from IMS Health, which makes some top-line market data available free on its website.



Some of my thoughts on this data.

  •  The top 20 are evenly split between small molecules and biologics
  •  Only 2 of these products had sales declines in 2014 – Seretide (-5.3%; powder inhaler for asthma, COPD) and Nexium (-1.4%; anti-ulcerant)
  •  There are 4 cancer therapeutics in the list – MabThera, Avastin, Herceptin and Neulasta (support therapy)
  •  There are 3 TNF blockers in the list – Humira, Enbrel and Remicade – with total sales of US$28.6 billion
  •  There are 2 insulin products in the list – Lantus and NovoRapid


Some of my thoughts on this data. 

  •  There are more drugs under development for cancers than for any other therapy area. A PhRMA press release states that there were 771 products in clinical testing to treat at least one type of cancer. The same press release states that cancer is really more than 200 distinct types of disease. A study by the Analysis Group available on the PhRMA website shows:
    •  Over 5,400 drugs and 8,000 projects (multiple indications, combinations, etc.) in clinical development; and
    •  1,795 projects with an orphan disease designation by the FDA
  •  The therapy area with the highest growth rate in 2014 was Viral Hepatitis, in which the 213% growth rate was driven by the new Hepatitis C drugs
  •  Only 2 therapy areas had declines in sales in 2014 – antihypertensives (-1.2%) and anti-ulcerants (-1.1%)

In the next blog, I will highlight some data on valuations for the biggest pharma and biotech companies.

[The author and his immediate family members may have long or short positions in the shares of some companies mentioned in or assessed during the preparation of this blog. Past share price performance may not be an indicator of future share price performance. This blog does not consider the investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any particular person. Investors should obtain professional advice based on their own individual circumstances before making an investment decision.]

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