R&D by European vs US-based biopharma

Rd_3_061511 (2) A new study published in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery concludes there is no difference in R&D productivity from biopharmaceutical companies based in Europe versus the United States.

The authors made several interesting observations:

1. In the United States, pharma companies, biotech companies and other institutions collaborate across multiple therapeutic areas and stages of the development process. By contrast, large pharmaceutical corporations still play the dominant role in European R&D.

2. US companies tend to specialize in higher-risk, higher-pay-off markets, for which the price premium for innovative drugs is potentially larger.

3. The most productive organizations in pharma R&D are global companies with innovative activities located on both sides of the Atlantic.

According to the report, “Unconditional differences are driven by the higher propensity of US organizations to focus on novel R&D methodologies and riskier therapeutic endeavors.”

“By taking into account the time from patent filing to market launch in the US and in the 15 European Union countries, average time of development has increased from 9.7 years for products launched during the 1990s to 13.9 years for products launched from 2000 onwards,“ the report says.

The report also states, “Interestingly, as it seems that US organizations have higher success rates in early clinical trials and biotechnology projects, whereas European ones seem to have higher success rates downstream, global companies might better organize R&D activities according to local comparative advantages."

See yesterday's post on reasons behind R&D productivity declines here.

– By Laura Woodin