Oncology Therapies Most Likely to Fail at Development Stage: companiesandmarkets.com

  • Highest number of drug failures noted in oncology treatments
  • Roche R&D expenditure ($8.7 billion) was higher than all other companies between 1996 and 2009
  • Failed drug trials and patent expiration - major concerns for pharmaceutical companies

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Pharmaceutical companies invest vast sums of money on R&D activities for potential new drugs and therapies, and very few molecules make it to late stage clinical testing, according to a new report available on companiesandmarkets.com. Drug discovery is also a very time consuming process, therefore a drug failure will have a significant negative impact on the company developing it.

Top R&D Drug Failures - Toxicity and Serious Adverse Events in Late Stage Drug Development are the Major Causes of Drug Failure


There have been more drug failures for the treatment of oncology related conditions than any other in the reporting period; however it must be considered that this sector also has the highest number of trials in progress. Therapies for heart failure and related conditions also represent a high proportion of failed trials, as they must be proven to save lives in order to gain approval.

Other indications which report high drug failure rates include diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), such as multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease.

The drug failure research report highlights Phase III drug failures include: Semagacestat, Zibotentan, Vicriviroc, Torcetrapib, Iniparib, ASA404, Figitumumab, Sutent, Recentin, Ocrelizumab, GVAX, Teplizumab, Taspoglutide, NOV002, Otelixizumab, Dimebon, Avastin, Aflibercept, Cladribine and Rolofylline.

Late stage drug failures tend to be attributed to safety or efficacy factors. To gain approval or be economically viable, a new drug’s efficacy levels have to be superior to existing, approved therapies, and must compare favourably when tested against a placebo or as a treatment ‘add-on’.

This 72 page report, released in July 2011, highlights the major drug failures between 2005 and 2010. It names the top twenty drug failures during the reporting period and explains the reasons why each molecule was taken forward to late stage testing, as well as an explanation for why the drug trial was terminated. The report also discusses the number of discontinued drugs by major pharmaceutical company for the period 2005-2010, as well as R&D expenditure by company.

Report Details:



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KEYWORDS:   United Kingdom  Europe

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Clinical Trials  Oncology  Pharmaceutical