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Abbott Laboratories Builds Late-Stage Drug Pipeline With Deals PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 16 September 2011 00:21

Abbott Laboratories'  drug-discovery arm is focusing on fewer diseases, but it has more promising drug candidates than in recent years partly because of acquisitions and license deals, a top executive said.

 

"We've had a very aggressive in-licensing effort," John Leonard, senior vice president of pharmaceuticals research and development, said in an interview Tuesday.

Abbott's late-stage research pipeline has become more critical because the company will need new products to offset the impact of the eventual sales slowdown for its top product, the anti-inflammatory drug Humira. New competition and the loss of patent protection may erode Humira sales--which totaled $6.5 billion last year--later this decade.

The company now has about 20 drug compounds in mid- or late-stage clinical trials, versus about eight in 2009. They include potential treatments for chronic kidney disease, multiple sclerosis and liver cancer.

"We had essentially nothing in phase 3 just a couple of years ago," said Leonard.

Abbott has narrowed the focus of its internal, early-stage drug discovery efforts to areas including oncology, immunology and neuroscience, while exiting early-stage research in HIV and respiratory diseases, Leonard said. However, Abbott still conducts development work for HIV drugs, such as new formulations. Internally discovered drug candidates now in late-stage testing include cancer drug linifanib.

But external transactions have brought in late-stage drug candidates such as bardoxolone, a proposed treatment for chronic kidney disease, whose non-U.S. rights Abbott licensed from privately held Reata Pharmaceuticals Inc. Also, Abbott last year bought Facet Biotech Corp., acquiring proposed multiple-myeloma treatment elotuzumab.

source:Abbott Laboratories

 
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