In the autoimmune/inflammation therapeutic area, the focus has shifted from rheumatology to respiratory diseases, with COPD and asthma seeing the highest levels of activity, according to a review of clinical trial starts from September 2009 to October 2010 conducted by Citeline analysts.
The review showed inhaled combinations therapies dominated respiratory development, with five pharmaceutical companies (AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Pfizer) starting new trials in respiratory disorders.
“In straightforward numeric counts of trial starts, 2010 does not, on the surface, look like an inspirational year for A/I,” stated Laura Runkel, PhD, associate director for Citeline. “However, it has been anything but static with the focus moving from rheumatology to respiratory indications, and particularly high levels of interest in COPD and asthma.”
Active trials in COPD are now outstripping those in asthma. This trend is driven by several major programs for fixed-dose combinations (FDCs) of LABA/LAMA sponsored by Novartis and GSK. “There is a clear battle for market share in chronic indications going on between the leading companies: 71% of the top sponsors’ trial starts were in respiratory diseases and rheumatology,” Runkel continues, “In contrast, only
Novartis initiated studies in the lower-activity indications, including cystic fibrosis, the gastrointestinal indications, and atopic dermatitis.” Several drugs with novel mechanisms of action are being developed in the autoimmune/inflammation therapeutic area, including Pfizer’s tofacitinib for rheumatoid arthritis and Vertex’s VX-770 and VX-809 for cystic fibrosis. Other biologics targeting IL-17 and IL-23 are in earlier stages of development.
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Filed Under: Drug Discovery