GSK management today announced the results from its first 3 year review of its "novel" Discovery Performance Units. DPUs were formed in 2008 as a means of focusing drug discovery activities in some defined areas and were intended to bolster the pipeline, control costs, and increase ROI in R&D. GSK has touted them from time to time ever since, so how'd they do in this very first time review?
Drumroll please. Well of the 38 DPUs, 3 will be terminate and 4 new ones will be formed (so now we have 39). Six (6) DPUs will receive and increased budget and 5 will have their budgets cut. GSK CEO Andrew Witty says he is "quite satisfied" with the results so far. GSK reports that's its R&D ROI rose from 11% to 12%, while their target remains at 14%. The overall R&D budget meanwhile is supposed to stay flat at $3.7 billon.
More to the bottom line, GSK plans to file for approvals on 4 new drugs and vaccines in 2012, including Relovair for COPD, Promacta for hepatitis C, and trametinib for melanoma. Six other DPUs have late stage projects. In the next three year cycle, 30 more programs are targeted to move into late stage development. See Fierce Biotech and In Vivo Blog.
Per usual in this industry, the jury will remain out on DPUs until more than a 3 year track record is established and until several high revenue generating drugs actually hit the market. One might be cautiously optimistic at present.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Feb 7th 2012.