Characterizing the Drug Development Pipeline for Precision Medicines

70 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2017 Last revised: 26 Aug 2021

See all articles by Amitabh Chandra

Amitabh Chandra

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Craig L. Garthwaite

Northwestern University - Department of Management & Strategy

Ariel Dora Stern

Harvard Business School

Date Written: November 2017

Abstract

Precision medicines – therapies that rely on the use of genetic, epigenetic, and protein biomarkers – create a better match between patients with specific disease subtypes and medications that are more effective for those patients. This heterogeneity in response has implications for the decision to develop therapies, their pricing, the design of clinical trials, and the relative importance of smaller biotech companies versus more traditional companies in pursuing early stage R&D. To understand the scope of these effects, we use a comprehensive database of over 130,000 global clinical trials and describe the drug development pipeline for precision medicines over the past two decades. We identify clinical trials for likely precision medicines (LPMs) as those that use one or more relevant biomarkers. We then further segment trials based on the nature of the biomarker(s) used and other trial features with economic implications. Since cancers represent a disease setting in which precision therapies are already successfully used, and since cancer applications of precision medicine are expected to grow rapidly over the coming years, we separately characterize cancer LPMs. Finally, we consider the types of firms pursuing R&D in precision medicines, considering how LPM R&D activities have evolved over recent years.

Suggested Citation

Chandra, Amitabh and Garthwaite, Craig L. and Stern, Ariel Dora, Characterizing the Drug Development Pipeline for Precision Medicines (November 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w24026, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3074204

Amitabh Chandra (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

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United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Craig L. Garthwaite

Northwestern University - Department of Management & Strategy ( email )

Kellogg School of Management
2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Ariel Dora Stern

Harvard Business School ( email )

Morgan Hall 433
Harvard Business School
Boston, MA MASSACHUSETTS 02163
United States
6174952332 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hbs.edu/astern

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