Neat article in Fierce Biotech from work done by Richard Evans and team at SSR Health and accessible on Hiddenpipeline.com. In it, Evans ranks the productivity of R&D groups from the 22 pharma and biopharma companies with the top annual R&D spend. He then discusses factors that he believes affect R&D productivity and many of these are completely controllable by the company to change. In fact the report finds 5 addressible causes:
- Companies tend to move their own compounds through the pipeline without assessing whether external ones might be better and more cost effective
- A very large percentage of companies devote research to research areas where they don't rank in the top 1, 2 or 3 spots and therefore have little chance of this having impact
- Some companies consistently spend more to get less "quality-adjusted amounts of innovation"
- There is a poor average quality of innovation at some firms -- less than average consistently
- Negative scales of economy. Big firms generally less R&D productivity than small and as a firm grows it becomes less productive.
Based on these type of measures and calculations, Evans says BMS, Celgene, Vertex and Gilead are the top R&D groups. While, Regeneron, Bayer, Lilly and Alexion rank at the bottom. Large firms Sanofi, Merck GSK and Novartis are also below average (and the average is dropping too!). See Fierce Biotech.
I'd encourage anyone interested in this topic to visit the Hiddenpipeline.com site. There is an 11 page pdf excerpt of the report that is available with more information. And, it's FREE. The whole report is for sale as well.
Posted by Bruce Lehr May 22nd 2014.