The number of new drug approvals in the US in 2011 reached 2010 levels in July, a report compiled by life sciences financial services firm Burrill & Co has confirmed.

The US Food and Drug Administration’s approval of AstraZeneca‘s Brilinta in July increased the number of new drugs to 21, equal to the total number of new drugs it approved in 2010.

Drugs approved in the US this year include Vertex Pharmaceutical’s Incivek, for hepatitis C, and Human Genome Sciences’ Benlysta, the first new treatment for lupus to emerge in half a century.

The number of drug approvals is set to increase further, with more than a dozen drug candidates still scheduled for review before the end of the year.

One of the those is Seattle Genetics’ first-in-class cancer medication Adcentris, which was recommended for approval by an US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel in July.