Graphic: Kathy Wong for Endpoints News

The End­points R&D 15: How many block­busters does $124B buy the biggest spenders in drug re­search? (Not enough)

Some big themes be­come ap­par­ent as you get in­to the de­tails on the world’s top 15 R&D play­ers, ranked by over­all spend­ing in 2021.

Bot­tom line, this new look in­cludes a $124 bil­lion to­tal for the End­points R&D 15, up $22 bil­lion from the 2018 num­bers. That’s a 22% jump in just three years, in­clud­ing a fast and fu­ri­ous as­sault on Covid-19, with dis­tinct­ly mixed re­sults. While many tried, on­ly one of these big play­ers — Pfiz­er — turned a his­toric op­por­tu­ni­ty in­to a ma­jor mon­ey earn­er with long-term po­ten­tial. Mer­ck, GSK with Vir, Eli Lil­ly, J&J and As­traZeneca, all made small­er — some­times tem­po­rary — ad­vances in vac­cines or ther­a­peu­tics. But the long-term po­ten­tial for the sec­ond-tier play­ers seems stunt­ed com­pared to what Pfiz­er achieved.

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