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New Report Series Launched on The State of Innovation in Highly Prevalent Chronic Diseases

January 17, 2018
BIO's Industry Analysis team has released its first report in a new series on the state of innovation in highly prevalent chronic diseases.

The new series of reports will dig deeper into a previously observed phenomenon: less venture dollars are heading into chronic diseases. BIO’s previous research showed recent increases in venture funding heading into oncology and rare disease, leaving highly prevalent, chronic disease behind. Disease area examples include psychiatric disorders, endocrine, cardiovascular, and respiratory diseases as shown in the figure below.

[caption id="attachment_27203" align="aligncenter" width="611"]ding vs. US Venture Funding Figure 1. Annual costs vs. a decade of venture capital funding (2007-2016) for Oncology, and other highly prevalent, chronic diseases. [Source for prevalence: Psychiatric Source for healthcare cost: Health Affairs, 35, No. 6 (2016). Source of venture data: BIO Industry Analysis, Emerging Company Trend Report, 2017.][/caption] 

The persistence of this trend could have implications for the future output of innovative medicines in these disease areas. The cause for concern is magnified by the impact these chronic disease areas are having on the overall healthcare system (as shown in $ Billions in the figure above).

Depression, the first in a series of reports on the current funding and R&D landscape of highly prevalent, chronic diseases, takes an in-depth look at the state of innovation in depression therapeutics. As one of the most prevalent psychiatric disorders, depression impacts 16 million patients in the United States and is estimated to cost our health care system $105 billion annually.

The report is available for download here, where you can also sign up to receive future BIO Industry Analysis reports as they are released.

Key Takeaways

  • There is a significant unmet need for new therapies for the treatment of depression. Only 29 active substances have been approved for major depression since 1959, and work on a single hypothesis.

  • Promising new therapeutic approaches, based on unique molecular targets discovered in the 1990s and early 2000s, have experienced a significant number of setbacks. Currently, there are now only 33 drug programs in clinical trials utilizing new approaches for major depression.

  • Clinical trial initiations for new therapeutics are down 50% over the last decade, and drug candidates for new clinical studies are nearly non-existent.

  • Venture investment in companies focused on depression is at record low levels.

The next report in the series will focus on pain and addiction. Opioids will be covered in the report and a special session on the opioid epidemic will be featured at the BIO CEO & Investor Conference next month, February 12-13 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. Register today!