Small Molecules, Sizable Market Opportunities
The small molecule drug development pipeline is booming! And with shrinking clinical trial cohorts (especially in oncology and orphan indications), smaller and virtual companies are now able to take candidates further than ever before.
Stephan Haitz | | Longer Read
Often, it feels that statements such as, “Although small molecules remain the largest portion of the pharma industry, they are on the decline, with large molecules and advanced medicines set to dominate in the coming years” are the prevailing narrative in the industry. But does it stand up to scrutiny?
Looking at market data, the number of small molecules being developed as drug candidates has increased over the past five years (see Table 1). The growing number of preclinical candidates coming into existence has boosted pipelines, and there are more phase I trials taking place than ever before, with more than 7,500 launched or entering development over the past five years. In addition, 520 potential drug compounds advanced from one clinical development phase to the next in 2018, suggesting that the industry is continuing to invest in small molecule drugs – particularly in areas such as oncology and orphan diseases.
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