2017 brought a bumper crop of new drugs, including groundbreaking treatments in cell and gene therapy — all of which boost confidence in the industry's ability to deliver needed medicines.
But the year also saw its fair share of restructurings, pipeline culls and clinical trials gone bust. Alzheimer's disease remains as intractable as ever, and concerns linger about development productivity despite the uptick in approvals. Debates over drug pricing, an overhang for the industry for several years, aren't helped by companies pouring investment into replicating similar types of drugs that carry different brand names.
Shifts appear underway though. Experimentation with AI, though nascent, could in time improve drug discovery and management of clinical trials. Market competition might just lead to downward pressure on pricing in oncology. And an improving understanding of the brain should lead to greater clinical achievements in neuroscience down the road.
Not all of these predictions may come true in 2018. But the forces that led our editors to pick them look likely to have an impact on how the industry operates in drug development, oncology and neuroscience.
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