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- 05/20/2021

Global Trends in R&D

Chimica Oggi-Chemistry Today

About the Report
This report examines the trends in pharmaceutical research and development through the end of 2020. It provides an analysis of initiated clinical trials, including the impact of the pandemic and COVID-19-specific research. Research on clinical development productivity is also presented, as well as profiles of the R&D pipeline, R&D funding trends, and characteristics of new drug approvals and launches.

Report Summary
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic upended life globally and yet not only did research and development activities largely continue – albeit with disruption – they also resulted in the development of vaccines that are already reaching more than 600 million people. The key drivers of these unprecedented results are visible in benchmarks and trends of various aspects of R&D, providing insight into what other improvements are already underway or could be possible.

-Funding for early- and late-stage R&D and strategic transactions increased significantly in 2020; aggregate R&D spend for the top 15 companies reached a record high.
-The number of first-time launches of novel active substances (NAS) reached an all-time high of 66 in 2020 – with success for treatments in oncology and rare diseases.
-Clinical trial starts increased 8% in 2020, similar growth to the prior three years, with oncology trial starts reaching historically high levels.
-Overall, clinical trial activity recovered from mid-year 2020 to levels above 2019 – even without COVID-19 trials.