Thomson Reuters Study Confirms Economic Viability of Orphan Drugs

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"This report provides extensive and tangible evidence that orphan drug development is an important component of biopharmaceutical R&D strategy."

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Associated Press

The Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters, the world's leading provider of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, today released the results of its study on orphan drugs, developed to treat rare diseases, finding that they have the potential to generate as much lifetime revenue as drugs used for more common health conditions. The findings are featured in the Thomson Reuters paper, "The Economic Power of Orphan Drugs" and in Drug Discovery Today. Rare diseases affect from a handful to up to 200,000 patients and include illnesses such as cystic fibrosis, Wilson's disease, and homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.

Life sciences researchers at Thomson Reuters found that developmental drivers such as government incentives, shorter clinical trials and high rates of regulatory success make top orphan drugs as economically viable as non-orphan ones, even though the number of patients benefiting from them is significantly smaller than those benefiting from non-orphan medicine.

"This new data gives economic validity to the importance of targeting rare diseases in the global pharmaceutical market," said Kiran Meekings, Ph.D., life sciences consultant at Thomson Reuters and co-author of the report. "Not only does such focus help those affected by rare diseases, of which there are 25 million people in the United States alone, it also furthers the aim of precision medicine and substantiates the envisioned high returns on the R&D investment, particularly for drugs with multiple orphan disease approvals.". . .View Full Article

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