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Investment in Oncology Drug Development Remains Strong as 133 Companies Initiate Late-Stage Clinical Trials Representing a 21% Increase

Thu, 06/02/2011 - 6:32am
Bio-Medicine.Org

NEW YORK, June 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Citeline, the world's leading research authority on pharmaceutical clinical trials and intelligence recently completed a comprehensive review of clinical trial starts in the oncology therapeutic area to uncover trends and patterns in drug development. Over the one-year review period (October 2009 through September 2010) over 400 late stage trials were initiated in the oncology sector, more than any other therapeutic area, according to Citeline analysts.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110602/NE12798 )

Non-small cell lung cancer was the leading disease type, followed closely by breast cancer.  "Notably, trials enrolling multiple hematological cancers and multiple solid tumors came in third and sixth, respectively, among all oncology diseases," commented Dr. Fern Barkalow, Oncology Senior Analyst at Citeline. "These trials represented 10% of the total, which was almost double that of the prior year, suggesting an effort by industry to increase the likelihood of success."

Additional highlights from the Citeline analysis include the following:

  • Hodgkin's lymphoma and supportive care were the only indications that had more Phase III than Phase II trial starts.  
  • Both Merck KGaA and Boehringer Ingelheim had the highest proportions of Phase III to Phase II trial starts.
  • The majority of the trials initiated by the leading five companies evaluated targeted therapies, ranging from 63% to 97% of their trial starts.

Sector sees new entrants

The high level of activity in the oncology therapeutic area was further underlined by the significant number (133) of distinct companies sponsoring new trials in the 12-month period. This represents a 21% increase over the previous year.  Coincident with the increase in the number of sponsors, was a sm

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