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Executive Summary

Using Pharmapremia data, we analyze performance metrics for a select group of leading cancer companies to see where the sticking points are and who is winning at industry’s most important race.




As oncology drug development programs skyrocket and companies prioritize the therapeutic area, there’s a need to understand what is working and where the process needs to be improved.

Using performance metrics from Informa Pharma Intelligence’s Pharmapremia on transitions between clinical phases and the likelihood of approval from 2006-2010 and 2011-2015, it’s clear that as the number of cancer development programs has risen, success rates aren’t holding up.

“Despite the fact that more oncology candidates transitioned through and out of company pipelines over the last five years compared to the previous five, overall success rates took a dive industry-wide,” Informa Pharma Consulting’s Justin Burns said. “These data underscore just how dedicated the pharmaceutical industry has been, especially the major companies, to advancing the treatment paradigm for cancer.”

While performance was down strictly looking at success rates, Burns noted that for select companies that have concentrated on cancer, there has been an increase in overall approvals, from 39 to 52 for 2006-2010 and 2011-2015, respectively. “Despite the fact that the harder they tried, the more they failed, these companies continued to devote considerable R&D spend to their cancer pipelines,” he commented.

See below for more on which companies are standing above the pack and which areas have the best odds to make it to market.


Oncology Scorecard



Discover Who is Succeeding at Cancer Drug Development from Pharma Intelligence


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