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Manufacture Contract Manufacturing Services, Small Molecules, Trends & Forecasts

Small Molecules, Sizable Market Opportunities

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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About the Author

Stephan Haitz

Stephan Haitz is President, CDMO Sales & Marketing at Cambrex

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