Plumbing the pipeline: pharmaceutical products in development

The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) approved a record 59 novel drugs in 2018 to treat diseases ranging from common illnesses like influenza to rare diseases like Dravet syndrome. 


Source: 2018 New Drug Therapy Approvals, CDER, p. 8

Cowen’s latest Therapeutic Categories Outlook and the IQVIA Institute’s Global Use of Medicine in 2019 and Outlook to 2023 both forecast pharmaceutical sales growth in the middle single digits (CAGR) over the next five years. Lippincott Library has several tools to help you discover areas of emerging therapeutic interest by screening for drugs in development and biopharmaceutical deals. 

BCIQ from BioCentury has a number of different ways to find information on drugs in the pipeline. BioCentury has published information and analysis related to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors for over 25 years. Their profile reports allow you to quickly visualize data by company, product, disease or target. The example below shows top targets for thyroid cancer.

Graph of Biocentury-TopTargets  by number of drugs for Thyroid Cancer

Selecting Companies, Products, Finance or Deals from the top menu provides many additional options for screening variables in each category.

Bloomberg’s Drug Explorer is another option for finding drugs in development. The data is supplied by Springer Nature (Adis) and can be found using the function BI PHRM DEX. The Drug Profiles tab permits screen by phase of development, status and geography, as well allowing you input a specific disease category or indication.

image of a Bloomberg Drug Profile Search

Profiles include:

  • Description – alternative names, registered indications, mechanisms of action and a basic explanation of the drug’s therapeutic uses. 
  • Timeline – information about changes in developmental phase including image of a list of companies using the Bloomberg Drug Companies Tabindication and geography, clinical trial data announcements, FDA actions and licensing changes.  
  • Phases – includes a table of all indications, phases and countries associated with the drug, as well as providing detailed commentary about movement between phases. 
  • Companies – companies associated with development of the drug, including originators and licensees

Thomson One includes Cortellis drug pipeline reports published by Clarivate Analytics. For public companies, these are available from the Company Overview under the Research; reports for non-public companies can be located by selecting Screening & Snapshot of a Cortellis drug pipeline reportAnalysis, then Research and Research Search. These are lengthy predefined reports that don’t allow you choose your own screening options. For large companies, a Cortellis competitive landscape report is available, providing information about a company’s positioning in its key therapeutic areas relative to its competitors.

For more intensive research needs, Cortellis data is available via Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS).  See our Pharmaceutical Industry Research Guide for additional resources focusing on this industry.