What's the trou­ble with pain? Analy­sis shows scarce in­vest­ments, high fail­ure rate for new drugs

Pain may be one of the biggest mar­ket op­por­tu­ni­ties in drug R&D, but it’s been rel­a­tive­ly ne­glect­ed com­pared to hot fields like on­col­o­gy or even car­dio.

That’s the con­clu­sion of a new mar­ket analy­sis from BIO, which found that the suc­cess rate in clin­i­cal de­vel­op­ment for pain is right at 2% — one of the worst now on the radar and far be­low their 10% av­er­age.

Pick­ing over the num­bers, BIO’s an­a­lysts con­clud­ed that the cat­e­go­ry ac­counts for $635 bil­lion in health­care costs, the kind of fig­ure that de­vel­op­ers usu­al­ly find pow­er­ful­ly at­trac­tive.

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