What is the most valuable investigational drug in the world?

The American company Eli Lilly you have the most promising portfolio of investigational drugs at their current value if you get those treatments to market. The Indianapolis laboratory reaches the number one position in that ranking thanks to a therapy against diabetes and another against Alzheimer’s.

The current value of the portfolio of these drugs in Lilly’s R&D, and which therefore still do not offer income to the laboratory, is 37,412 million euros, according to a report by the consulting firm Evaluate Pharma. If you add to the following 10 companies collected in this study, the value of these portfolios currently reaches 146,250 million.

According to Evaluate Pharma, Lilly’s promising pipeline justifies the company’s good year on the stock market, which has risen by 20% so far in 2021 and currently has a capitalization of more than 190,000 million dollars.

The medicine most valuable in the world today is tirzepatide (no trade name, at the moment), precisely from Lilly. It is a therapy against diabetes that is currently in phase III of clinical trials, the last stage of study with thousands of patients to corroborate its efficacy. It is likely that in the US this therapy could receive approval by the end of the year. Morgan Stanley calculated that the maximum annual sales of this drug (known in industry jargon as peak sales) could reach 10,000 million dollars (8,196 million euros). With this product, Lilly will compete with other companies such as the Danish Novo Nordisk or the French Sanofi in innovations in diabetes.

The next most valuable drug is also from Lilly. Is about donanemab, a therapy against Alzheimer’s, a disease that laboratories have repeatedly collided with in their clinical trials and that no one can guarantee the American company that it can pass the last stage of studies with patients. Evaluate Pharma gives a value to this drug of 14,676 million. The following results on the efficacy of the treatment could come in early 2023.

The next most valuable R&D molecule is deucravacitinib, from the New York company Bristol-Myers Squibb. In this case, it is designed as an inhibitor against psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases such as lupus. Its current value, being in phase III, is 7,461 million. What peak sales it could reach $ 2 billion in annual revenue. In this classification, Evaluate Pharma has not introduced Covid-19 vaccines not yet approved such as Novavax or CureVac. Some of those already authorized will give a lot of revenue to their manufacturers, such as Pfizer, which pointed out that it expects more than 15,000 million in revenue this year from its joint product with BioNTech.

Roche, one of the largest laboratories in the world, has the antibody tiragolumab as the fourth most promising drug today, with a value of 4.755 million. It is an investigational antitumor applied together with the drug Tecentriq for patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

Finally, SAR442168 appears or tolebrutinib, a molecule that Sanofi achieved last year by taking over the American company Principia. In this case, it is an R&D treatment against multiple sclerosis with a value of 4,509 million.

After Lilly, the most valued portfolio as a whole is that of the Swiss Roche (18,349 million) and that of the United States Pfizer (17,628 million). It is followed by others such as BMS (see graph), Sanofi, Novartis, AstraZeneca, MSD, GSK, Johnson & Johnson and Abbvie.

Roche, greater investment in R&D

The pharmaceutical company that invested the most investment (in total volume) in R&D last year was the Swiss Roche, with 9,265 million euros, according to Evaluate Pharma. It is followed by Johnson & Johnson from the United States (see chart), BMS, MSD and Pfizer. Except for BMS –which is among the big ones–, it coincides with the largest companies in the sector in terms of turnover. Another of the giants, Novartis, falls to eighth place in research spending.


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