If the focus is shifted to entire therapy areas, with a total of 516 compounds under development, oncology holds the highest level of research activity in Europe, followed by compounds under development for infectious disease (262); neurological/psychiatric disease (219), inflammatory disease (199) metabolic disease (128) and cardiovascular disease (104). The result is underlined by portfolios of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies. In an earlier study, Novumed investigated the global pharma market and identified the 200 biggest selling drugs. In just that one year eleven diabetes drugs produced total revenues of US$21 billion.
For its new study, the Novumed team examined over 4,600 European biotech firms across 30 European countries (including Iceland, Slovakia, etc.). 1,773 fell into the healthcare category (including services, diagnostics etc.) and only 522 focused on drug development. It was found that, of the 2,552 R&D projects associated with those firms, several facts emerged about the status of this industry sector in Europe.
Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland display a distinct strength in cultivating a productive therapeutic R&D environment, particularly in relation to their total populations. With nine million inhabitants, Sweden has 54 biotech firms working on drug development, all with at least one compound in pre-clinical or clinical development; despite its 5.4 million population, Denmark has 31; in stark contrast, with 82.4 million inhabitants Germany has only 97, which is barely topped by the United Kingdom, with a population of 70 million yet only 98 biotech firms.
As to the maturity of the respective company pipelines, Germany and the UK are again only average. Ireland, with only about 4.2 million inhabitants, and Denmark (as said, 5.4 million pop.) were identified as the biotech regions with the highest number of compounds in clinical development — proportionally about 60%, with the remaining 40% distributed across early-development, pre-clinical and research stages.