The antibacterial therapy area has the sixth largest pipeline of any therapy area across the entire pharmaceutical industry, driven by society’s need for new antibacterial products capable of tackling rising antibiotic resistance.
Only a small proportion of the antibiotic pipeline (21%) is currently in clinical development with the majority of products (46%) being at the Preclinical stage of development.
The antibacterial pipeline is relatively large and has a relatively low attrition rate across Phases I, II and III, owing to the many generics and reformulations present in the pipeline.
These products may address specific areas of unmet need but do very little to address antibiotic resistance, which is believed to be one of, if not the, greatest threat to global health.
Strong prospects for deals involving first-in-class products
First-in-class products, which are defined as products that target targets not currently utilized by marketed products, could potentially address the increasing antibiotic resistance that has created treatment-resistant strains of deadly infections such as tuberculosis and pneumonia.
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There are over 240 first-in-class products currently in active development spread across a number of indications including tuberculosis, pneumonia, MRSA and sepsis.
These products are attractive candidates for large pharmaceutical companies looking to manage their portfolios while also generating growth by acquiring products with the potential to significantly alter the treatment landscape.
Of the 243 first-in-class products currently in development the majority (80%) show no prior deal activity.
These products are often developed by institutions and small pharma companies that are unable to progress a drug through clinical development.
Deals involving antibiotic products were associated with relatively low deal values between 2006 and 2018.
The average disclosed value for licensing and co-developments deals were $102m and $186m respectively.
The historical low deal value associated with antibacterial products goes some way to mitigating the risk associated with early-stage drug development.