The loss of patent protection on blockbuster drugs for Pfizer Inc. and Eli Lilly & Co. weighed on the drug makers’ latest earnings results, The Wall Street Journal reported today. Pfizer said its earnings fell 50% amid a prior-year tax settlement and as U.S. market exclusivity for its top-selling cholesterol drug Lipitor ended in late November. Eli Lilly’s earnings fell 27% as recent patent expirations, namely on antipsychotic drug Zyprexa, hurt its margins and revenue.
John Arrowsmith, Scientific Director, IP Solutions: Patent expirations are largely built into the market and earnings expectations on the street, but those reports do not reflect the amazing activity and innovation in the industry. The pharmaceutical industry has officially started its drug discovery metamorphosis. While the change may not immediately win the hearts of Wall Street, R&D in pharma is transitioning to a much more targeted, patient-specific approach that incorporates repurposed drugs, biopharmaceuticals and the use of Biomarkers to target increasingly specialized, patient-specific treatments. As we forecast in our end-of-year 2011 research report The Changing Role of Chemistry in Drug Discovery, the pharmaceutical industry has moved on from its blockbuster mindset to a more science driven approach of being first or best in class in delivering differentiated and reimbursable drugs to patients.
For evidence of the trend, look no further than this chart, which shows the increase in the use of Biomarkers related to drug development over the past three years:
This is an interesting time for our business as we provide much of the content, technology and expertise to support our customers in their migration to developing therapies for more targeted populations of patients, use of biomarkers, and efforts to repurpose drugs.