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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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January 27, 2014

The 2013 Crop of New Drugs

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Posted by Derek

Here's Lisa Jarvis's roundup of the 2013 drug approvals (PDF version). There's also a list of notable late-stage clinical failures, and unfortunately, these tended to be potentially bigger drugs than the ones that got through last year.

I have to wonder if the structures included along with the chart were chosen especially to highlight the occasional "non-druglike" features (acrylamides, aminals, and so on). It's well worth taking a look at new-approval lists and things like the Top 200 Drugs posters to remind yourself that structures you might have crossed off the screening list are out there making hundreds of millions of dollars.

Comments (9) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Regulatory Affairs


1. Dave M. on January 27, 2014 11:21 AM writes...

What say you on Neuroscience seemingly chewing up and spitting out companies?

Solanezumab, bapienuzumab, pomaglumetad methionil, edivoxietine, bitopertin, TC-5619, BL-1020, Gammagard, AMG-747, Lilly's BACE-1 inhibitor?

Lilly alone has seen three neuroscience disasters of biblical proportions. Lilly's mid-late Neuroscience pipeline has been decimated

If you look at the main players of the Neuro field, their pipelines are now mostly phase 1-2. Late stage development is just terribly sparse. NOTE: I am really not considering "me too" molecules like vortioxietine and Brexpiprazole.

Other than "me too" drugs for 2014, Neuroscience looks as bleaker than it ever has

Permalink to Comment

2. John on January 27, 2014 12:36 PM writes...

Can someone explain why dimethyl fumarate is a budding blockbuster for MS? I just don't understand how such as well known molecule is making such an impact in 2014. Is it a really novel release mechanism, did we really miss something in MS target hunting, or both?

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3. Scholander on January 27, 2014 1:10 PM writes...

Some discussion about dimethyl fumarate from this blog:

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4. Chrispy on January 27, 2014 4:06 PM writes...

@1, Dave M.

Yes, this may well be an area that companies just stop trying to do. Polypharmacology, the BBB and a high placebo effect in trials conspire to make these a very difficult set of targets.

Of course, with 1% of the population schizophrenic and a population aging into Alzheimers there is no shortage of patients...

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5. Anon1 on January 27, 2014 5:55 PM writes...

Its amazing how none of these drugs 'look' like good drugs. Makes you wonder if we have a clue what we are doing.

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6. John Wayne on January 27, 2014 6:32 PM writes...

Sometimes I wonder if all the technologies that allow us to spend less time on repetitive tasks and more time on asking 'do or die' questions have only allowed us to make mistakes faster. This is great for getting rid of the many unproductive directions for research, but bad for convincing MBA's to give us more money to figure it out.

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7. TX raven on January 27, 2014 7:50 PM writes...

@5 Anon1,

No, we do not for the most part.
But some know it, and some don't.
And this makes a huge difference...

@1 Dave M.,

Not sure I'd say vortioxetine is a "me too" drug.
Or any CNS drug, for that matter...

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8. Rick Neubig on January 28, 2014 5:14 AM writes...

Anon1 I've been wondering that for a while.

Nice to see more "out of the box" thinking. Maybe we'll start seeing more novel drugs.

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9. newnickname on January 28, 2014 8:19 AM writes...

This might be a dumb question about the Drug Sales by Number of Scripts chart, but here goes. Is that just a weird comma placement (for American-style numbers)? Is that a Euro comma?

The number at the top of the chart is written as "5,6118K Scripts" (for Hydrocodone/APAP). K is just thousands, right? 5,6118K = 5,6118000 = 56,118,000 = 56 million Scripts? The other entries are similarly "#,####K" rather than "##,###K". Have I got that correct?

Going to the source webpage, they list sales by UNITS sold. Let's see ...

Looking to compare something on both charts: Nexium is #12-Scripts = 2,2286K Scripts = 22 million Rxs? By units sold (adding up Q1-Q4 for 2012) = 6.5M + 6.4M + 6.7M + 6.8M = 26.4 million "units" (whatever a unit of Nexium is).

It's OK for scripts and units to be off, right? Is a prescription with three renewals ONE script or FOUR scripts? Or maybe someone can just explain how they count these things.

And I just want to make sure I'm reading those charts correctly. THANKS.

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