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Many thanks to Citeline for preparing “Pharma R&D Annual Review 2024” white paper! This report provides an in-depth analysis of the trends in pharmaceutical R&D and highlights the challenges and opportunities faced by the industry.

Here is a summary of the “Top pharmas by 2024 Pipeline Size”:

  1. Overall Trend: The pharmaceutical industry’s R&D pipeline continued to grow in 2024, with the total pipeline size reaching 22,825 drugs, a 7.20% increase from the previous year.
  2. Leading Companies: Roche maintained its top position for the second consecutive year with 218 drugs in the pipeline. Pfizer ranked second with 205 drugs, having increased its pipeline size by 20% compared to the previous year, largely due to its acquisition of Seagen (formerly Seattle Genetics) in December 2023.
  3. Rise of Chinese Companies: Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals entered the top ten for the first time, ranking eighth with 147 drugs in the pipeline, marking a 38.7% increase in its pipeline size, with nearly 94% of its drugs being self-originated.
  4. Geographical Distribution of R&D: While the United States remains the primary region for drug development, China is quickly catching up, with the number of new drugs increasing from 1,457 in 2022 to 1,627 in 2023, compared to the U.S. increase from 1,840 to 1,856.
  5. Development Phases: Despite the increase in the number of new drugs in the pipeline, most are still in the preclinical stage or early clinical trials. The growth in the number of drugs entering Phase III clinical trials has slowed, which may be a challenge for the industry.
  6. Investment and Return: The cost of drug development continues to rise while the return on investment decreases, posing a challenge to the sustainability of the pharmaceutical industry.
  7. Therapeutic Areas: Oncology continues to be a hot area for R&D, accounting for the majority of new drugs, although this proportion slightly decreased from 40.7% in 2022 to 38.0%.
  8. M&A Activity: Mergers and acquisitions activity in 2023 slightly increased, but it did not significantly impact the overall composition of the Top 25 companies.
  9. Small and Medium Companies: Small and medium-sized companies play a significant role in the R&D pipeline, especially those with only one or two drugs in development, which together account for more than 18% of the pipeline.
  10. Future Outlook: Although the growth of the R&D pipeline shows the vitality of the industry, most drugs may never be launched, posing risks and costs to the industry.

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