What goes into finding a cure? Amidst the therapies, the trials, the risk — the answer starts with one.
Only one in 1,000 potential medicines in preclinical testing makes it to human testing. Once in human testing, only one in 10 is approved for sale. And only two of every 10 drugs earn enough money to match the costs of R&D and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval process before their 20-year patents expire.
But on the heels of the BIO 2016 International Conference, more encouraging numbers are emerging. In 2015, the FDA approved the most new therapies in 18 years, the most biologics ever and the most rare-disease drugs in history. The biotech industry broke a number of important records, attracting a record amount of venture capital investment and reaching record follow-on offerings in public markets. In the last century, the average life expectancy in the United States rose from 48 to 78 years — and it continues to rise due largely to biopharmaceuticals.
Nearly 70 percent of the industry’s clinical pipeline is attributed to small companies — companies advancing gene therapy, immunotherapy, RNAi therapy and other treatments poised to transform medicine in the 21st century. To thrive, these companies — and the biotech industry as a whole — rely on a public policy environment that supports innovation and incentivizes high-risk endeavors.
In his BIO 2016 International keynote address, Jim Greenwood, BIO president and CEO, discussed the true value of pharmaceutical innovation — and called for building more champions among policymakers, patients and providers.
“Despite the rhetoric on drug prices, just one out of 10 biotech companies actually turns a profit. We’ll remind them that 90 percent of biotech clinical research goes toward projects that ultimately fail. We fail, but we don’t quit. We can’t quit. To quit would be to fail all of those counting on us,” Greenwood said.
It’s numbers like one that show just how important it is for doctors, nurses, patient advocates, drug manufacturers and insurers to come together to create solutions that save and enhance lives. But you don’t have to work in medicine to support new cures. Your one voice — your one signature — can urge members of Congress to support life-saving innovations.
Sign the petition to support finding cures. Sign for your sister battling cancer. For your neighbor living with diabetes. For your parent navigating the stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Sign for those relying on tomorrow’s cures … today.