Investment by the US biopharmaceutical industry into the research and development (R&D) of new medicines and vaccines reached $65.3bn in 2009, an increase of more than $1.5bn from 2008, according to a new report.

The study compiled by Burrill & Company showed that Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) member companies alone spent an estimated $45.8bn on biopharmaceutical R&D last year.

Non-PhRMA pharmaceutical research companies in the US, on the other hand, spent an estimated $19.5bn on R&D in 2009.

PhRMA president and CEO Billy Tauzin said that over the past year the economic challenges have been enormous, but the industry’s continued commitment to R&D is bringing hope to millions of patients around the world.

The Burrill & Company report was based on R&D expenses among other key financial parameters taken on a quarterly basis from US publicly listed biotech companies through the company’s industry reports.