Huge sums of money have poured into oncology R&D in the past decade and continue to do so, attracted by biological breakthroughs and the high prices that health systems are willing to tolerate when it comes to cancer drugs. The result: just under a third of the novel compounds in biopharma’s developmental pipeline sit in the oncology realm.
The analysis based on EvaluatePharma data, shows that there are 1,806 novel oncology projects in clinical development, more than three times as many as in the areas of infectious diseases or neurology.
One conclusion to draw from this statistic is that cancer’s gain has been other therapy areas’ loss. Heart disease remains a bigger killer than cancer, in the west at least, so the relatively small space that cardiovascular therapies occupy, suggests this to be true.
Tumours can grow in all parts of the body so cancer will always be a bigger therapy area than, for example, hepatic disorders. But it seems likely that disproportionate investment has contributed to the distribution below.