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BIO Releases Report on Investment in Pain and Addiction Therapeutics

February 12, 2018
BIO’s Industry Analysis team has released its second report in a new series on the state of innovation in highly prevalent chronic diseases aimed at digging deeper into a previously observed phenomenon: fewer venture dollars are heading into chronic diseases.

This second report, "Volume II: Pain and Addiction Therapeutics" (available here), analyzed all drugs marketed in the US for pain and addiction, as well as potential future drugs that are progressing through the clinical pipeline to meet the urgent needs of patients.

Key Takeaways

  • There have been only two novel, FDA-approved chemical entities to treat pain over the past decade.

  • The industry-wide pain pipeline consists of 220 clinical-stage drug programs, with 125 of these testing novel chemical entities in the clinic, 87% of which are for non-opioid receptors. These are relatively low numbers when compared to the current pipeline for oncology (2,617 total programs and 1,700 novel drug clinical-stage programs).

  • Over the past decade, the biopharmaceutical industry has been working to develop abuse deterrent formulations, with 142 clinical trials initiated and 12 FDA approvals for abuse deterrent pain products.

  • Clinical success in pain drug development has been extremely difficult for novel drugs, with only a 2% probability of FDA approval from phase I, compared to an overall 10% success rate across all diseases.

  • Private company investment, as measured by venture capital into US companies with lead stage programs in pain, is 3.6% of total drug development venture funding. For venture funding of novel R&D, pain has received 17 times less venture capital than oncology over the last decade.

  • There are only 15 active clinical-stage programs with novel compounds intended for addiction treatment: 10 for substance abuse, two for alcohol, and three for smoking cessation.

  • Venture investment for addiction drug R&D is nearly non-existent.

Dave Thomas will be discussing his report at a special session on pain, addiction, and the opioid epidemic at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference, February 13th in New York City. The session will explore the most promising avenues in the neuroscience of addiction and alternatives to opioid-based pain management, as well as identify the most pressing bottlenecks in our understanding of the brain’s addiction to painkillers.