GSK Outlines Pipeline for Next 10 Years

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is expecting to file 20 new drugs by 2020, with another 20 to follow in the following five years.

In a presentation to investors in New York, CEO Andrew Witty highlighted 40 new medicines and vaccines for conditions ranging from cancer and HIV to asthma and shingles. GSK believes roughly 80% of these could be “first-in-class” with novel mechanisms of action, potentially offering benefits beyond current standards of care and, in some cases, radically transforming patients’ treatment.

Seven drugs are in advanced late-stage development and could potentially launch before 2020. These include: Nucala (mepolizumab), a treatment for severe eosinophilic asthma; shingles vaccine Shringrix (zoster); sirukumab to treat rheumatoid arthritis; daprodustat for anaemia; cabotegravir for HIV; a combination vaccine to prevent bacterial meningitis; and an inhaled triple therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

“The level of innovation in this portfolio is substantial,” Witty said. We believe this is critical in today’s operating environment as payors look to balance pressures of pricing and demand. It also provides us with confidence that this portfolio can generate significant value for shareholders and deliver widespread benefits to patients and consumers.”

The CEO highlighted six main areas of focus: HIV & infectious diseases, oncology, immuno-inflammation, vaccines, respiratory and rare diseases.

GSK tentatively plans to start Phase II development of approximately 30 new molecular entities (NMEs) and product line extensions (PLEs) in 2016-2017, as well as Phase III development of around 20 NMEs and PLEs, reinforcing the strength of its R&D pipeline.

Most of the products that Witty highlighted are expected to generate new product sales of at least £6 billion by 2020. These include medicines and vaccines launched in the past three years, together with contributions from Nucala and Shingrix, which are near to market.

GSK has declined to comment on a report that it had spurned an approach from Pfizer before the US pharma group decided instead to focus on a deal with Ireland’s Allergan.

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