Big Pharma turns to its dealmakers to swell the Ph3 pipeline

Big Pharma has added at least 22 new late-stage drug development programs to their pipelines since the beginning of the year, according to new stats gathered by Fitch Ratings. And it's getting most of their bright new prospects through in-licensing deals and outright acquisitions rather than from its own in-house R&D group.

These companies will need the new drug programs. Fitch said that as these new treatments have been brought in, Big Pharma saw 15 development programs hit serious snags. Among the most active deal makers adding new drugs are Pfizer, Eli Lilly and J&J, which each added three new programs. Pfizer gets credit for new pain drugs acquired along with its King Pharma buyout. And Lilly has gained access to new diabetes programs through a major deal with Boehringer, which also triggered its legal spat with Amylin.

To put the new drug pacts in perspective, the New York Times added a chart from Bernstein Research on the impact the patent cliff will have on the big drug companies. And it's no surprise that Eli Lilly and Pfizer are among the three pharmas facing the biggest drop-off in revenue through 2020 on existing products. At the top of the list: GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Novartis and BMS in particular have had excellent results recently in getting new drugs approved.

These new stats may help reverse another trend that was flagged earlier this week by Thomson Reuters, which concluded that in-house projects have a significantly better chance of success than in-licensed drug programs.

- here's the story from the New York Times