Pfizer reports big jump in clinical trial success rate

Pfizer reports big jump in clinical trial success rate

Pfizer has reported (PDF) a sharp rise in its clinical trial success rate. The Big Pharma put its end-to-end success rate through 2020 at 21%, well up from the 9% it reported just last year.

Historically, Pfizer’s clinical research success rate has lagged behind those of its peers. In 2015, Pfizer calculated that just 5% of its assets that entered first-in-human studies went on to win approval, compared to an industrywide success rate of 11%. Pfizer reported an improvement at its investor day last year, claiming its success rate through 2019 was 9% versus an industry average of 8%.

Now, Pfizer has claimed a major jump in its success rate. In conjunction with its full-year financial results, Pfizer said its success rate through 2020 was 21%. Pfizer is yet to calculate the industrywide average through 2020, but the figure is well up on the performance of its peers through 2019.

The improvement is underpinned by a sharp reduction in midphase attrition. Through 2015, Pfizer had a five-year average phase 2 success rate of just 15%. In the latest data, Pfizer reported a phase 2 success rate of 52%, well above its historical performance and the industry average of 29%.

Pfizer also reported an improved phase 3 success rate, which rose from 70% through 2015 to 85% in the new data. There was no change in the phase 1 success rate, which stood at 48% in the 2015 and 2020 analyses. This comes, however, after the Big Pharma in rexent years exited neuroscience R&D, a notoriously difficult and success-dragging area, which would also have had an affect on these numbers.

Phase 1 claimed another victim recently at Pfizer, which used its latest pipeline update to disclose the discontinuation of TYK2 inhibitor PF-06826647 in ulcerative colitis. Pfizer filed to run a phase 2 trial of the small molecule in the indication late in 2019, only to withdraw the study “following a strategic portfolio re-prioritization.”

Pfizer is continuing to develop the drug candidate in the treatment of psoriasis and hidradenitis suppurativa. The phase 2 hidradenitis suppurativa trial is comparing PF-06826647 to placebo and two other kinase inhibitors, PF-06650833 and PF-0670084.

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