Glaxo lays out ambitious plans for 20 new drugs by 2020, market shrugs
- On Tuesday, GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty outlined the company's plans for the short- and long-term, including filing 20 new drugs by 2020.
- The drugs to be filed represent six distinct therapeutic categories, including: HIV and other infectious diseases; respiratory diseases; oncology; immuno-inflammation; vaccines; and rare diseases.
- Despite this optimistic outlook, the current reality is challenging as Glaxo tries to staunch the bleeding from rapidly falling revenues of the flagship Advair. For the first nine months of 2015, the asthma medication generated $4.1 billion in revenues, compared with $5.2 billion during the same period last year.
GSK certainly isn't lacking in ambition. With 40 medications in development, half of which could very well be filed within the next five years, it would seem that things are looking up.
But the market, which was down 1.5% after Witty's comments on Tuesday (before mostly erasing the losses in Wednesday early trading) still seems to have some concerns. Despite the fact that Witty highlighted the high preponderance of candidates with novel mechanisms of action, as well as two drugs—Nucala for severe asthma and Shingrix for shingles—currently under consideration for approval, Bernstein analyst Dr. Timothy Anderson cautioned investors that GSK does not have a good track record in terms of getting early-stage drug candidates through the pipeline to approval.
Nonetheless, Witty is pumped up about GSK's pipeline, especially considering the fact that the company had 14 new drugs approved between 2010 and 2014, including Ticavay for HIV; Breo; Anoro for respiratory conditions; and a pandemic flu vaccine.