As previously blockbuster drugs are scheduled to go off-patent over the next 5 years (e.g. Cymbalta, Crestor), devising innovative uses for such drugs is a priority in the pharmaceutical industry. Recently, the consulting group Cambridge Consultants has collaborated with Clinigen Group, a specialty global pharmaceutical products and services business headquartered in the UK, to create a new way of identifying fresh market applications for drugs nearing the end of their product life cycle.
As part of the six-month project, Cambridge Consultants built an acquisition database of 4,000 drugs, and screened and ranked them – identifying 150-180 potential targets. A shortlist was then drawn up of 20 hospital-only drugs that would be suitable for more detailed commercial discussions. The process included the analysis of clinical data and interviews with key opinion leaders.
This database has the potential to expand the life cycle of drugs and create innovative applications that can be translated to the patient level. According to Peter George, CEO of Clinigen:
Identifying new drugs is vital to our unique business model and our mission to supply the right drug to the right patient at the right time. Working with Cambridge Consultants allowed us to ensure we developed the most robust and effective process that speeds up decision making to identify drugs to license and bring to market faster with consistent and measured market analysis.
According to the press release, Clinigen has identified numerous product opportunities from the acquisition database, a number of which are being actively pursued. This algorithm represents a potentially new model to breath life into old drugs, and we look forward to the results!