At present, there are as many as 100 PD-1/PD-L1 projects in the world (China accounts for more than 1/4). This can not help but cause everyone’s doubts: Is it possible for the pharmaceutical industry to develop R&D projects in a certain target/disease area? Have you invested too much money?
Prior to this, Jay Bradner, president of the Novartis Institute of Biomedical Sciences, expressed some concerns, especially in the area of cancer research.
Bradner posted on LinkedIn that pointed to breakthroughs in cancer treatment, including the listing of Kymriah, his company’s recently approved CAR-T drug. Bradner said that not only have many breakthrough and breakthrough treatment programs been approved for cancer, there are many companies to choose drug candidates in the expansion of clinical indications when the span is very large.
With this in mind, Bradner said that those who think that we are investing too much in oncology development “begin to sound like it is very reasonable.” However, Bradner quickly made a sharp turn and said that the answer was obviously wrong.
“The burden of cancer is still huge and dangerous – it’s true for affected individuals, families, health care systems and even survivors. I think about $50 billion in cancer investment every year is completely in line with the times,” Bradner wrote. “In the past, we have never better understood the environmental, genetic, and epigenetic causes of cancer; and we have never had imagination and effective treatments like this.”
Bradner went on to say that despite the investment errors in the pharmaceutical industry, the forefront of cancer research is rapidly evolving, creating a wave of innovation. At the same time, when Bradner noticed that great innovations were in progress, he also expressed his concern about “currently anti-cancer drugs”. In particular, large pharmaceutical companies have inadvertently promoted excess investment in biotechnology. The opportunity cost of society is too high for patients to bear.
John LaMattina, former president of Pfizer’s R&D division, wrote a response from Forbes. Bradner’s “strong wording” cannot be ignored.
LaMattina pointed out that confidence in the pharmaceutical industry has reached an unprecedented height, although many high-end investments have finally proved to be disappointing. For example, Alzheimer’s disease research. Many companies spent billions of dollars to develop various therapies to treat this terrible dementia but have failed in recent years. The clinical results of companies like Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim have disappointed investors, and several companies such as Pfizer have either opted out of this area or significantly reduced the amount of resources spent on research and development due to failure.
LaMattina stated that since many companies are concerned about the same target, although there may be the first drug to reach the end point, there is very little evidence that the first class is the best for disease treatment. According to LaMattina, those targeted cancer treatment drugs may eventually be replaced by drugs with higher efficacy and lower drug resistance.