New Medicines in Development

90% of all medicines have been developed by the pharmaceutical industry and the industry continues to invest in research and development.

Many changes are taking place in the way we discover new treatments and cures for disease. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and other deadly conditions affect millions. New medicines have led to improved treatments of certain forms of breast cancer, hypertension, and AIDS, while other medicines have slowed the decline of degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or arthritis.

As impressive as advances in pharmaceuticals have been, our work is far from over. Millions of people with serious diseases and conditions, and a health care system struggling with rising costs and gaps in quality, can benefit from new medicine discoveries.

Every day, more than 100,000 researchers across Europe go to work seeking tomorrow's medical miracles. There are currently over 2,000 new medicines in development. Many of these potential new medicines will fail in clinical trials, but some may represent tomorrow's breakthroughs to cure or prevent disease, reduce disability and improve quality of life for patients.

Below you will find reports on new medicines in development across the globe. They are updated as new reports become available.


Medicines in Development for Infectious Diseases
Critical challenges remain in the centuries-old battles against infectious diseases, particularly as bacteria and viruses mutate and as the threat of bioterrorism grows. Responding to this need, research-based pharmaceutical companies this year have 395 new medicines and vaccines in the pipeline to fight infectious diseases. All 395 are in later stages of development, meaning in clinical trials or under regulatory authority review.

Medicines in Development for Mental Illness
There are a record 313 new medicines to treat patients suffering from mental health disorders being developed by the international research-based pharmaceutical industry according to a new report. An estimated 450 million people worldwide struggle with mental health problems according to the World Health Organisation. Over the past half century, pharmaceutical research has helped transform mental illnesses from misunderstood causes of shame and fear into highly treatable conditions.

New Medicines in Development for Diabetes
Diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate in Ireland. Each year approximately 500 Irish people are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. However a new study from the international research-based pharmaceutical industry shows that there are 235 new medicines in development to treat it and related conditions. All of the medicines are either in clinical trials or awaiting approval by regulatory bodies.

New Medicines in Development for Children
Pharmaceutical researchers are testing 234 medicines to meet the special health needs of children. These medicines offer hope that the significant improvements achieved in children’s health over the past few decades will continue and even accelerate. The potential medicines are either in clinical trials or under review by the regulators.

New Medicines in Development for Women
Pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies are developing 969 medicines for diseases that disproportionately affect women. Pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies continue making exciting progress in the search for new cures and treatments for diseases of special concern to women. We live in an era in which we understand ever more about the difference between the sexes and their health care needs. This knowledge is inspiring a continuing medical revolution that is bringing new hope to women around the world.

New Medicines in Development for HIV/Aids
The 1st December 2009 marked the 21st anniversary of 'World AIDS Day' - a global awareness campaign that originated at the 1988 World Summit of Ministers of Health on Programmes for AIDS Prevention. HIV/AIDS is one of the most devastating diseases affecting patients around the world. To help fight this global disease, pharmaceutical researchers are currently testing 97 medicines to treat HIV/AIDS and related conditions and intensifying their efforts to develop preventative vaccines. Since first identifying the AIDS virus in 1983, 31 medicines have been approved to treat HIV infection. The first AIDS medicine was approved in 1987 just four years after the virus was identified.

New Medicines in Development to Treat Leading Causes of Cancer
Few things cause patients more fear and uncertainty than a cancer diagnosis. But today—because of a steady stream of new and improved medicines and treatments—cancer increasingly can be managed and even beaten. Patients and their families are looking for more and better treatments, and the research-based pharmaceutical industry is responding. Pharmaceutical researchers are now working on 861 medicines for cancer. Many are high-tech weapons to fight the disease, while some involve innovative research on using existing medicines in new ways.

Medicines in Development for Heart Disease and Stroke
Pharmaceutical researchers are working on 312 medicines for two of the leading causes of death in Ireland-heart disease and stroke-keeping up the momentum of drug discovery that has helped cut deaths from these diseases by more than 40 percent in the past 15 years.

Medicines in Development for Neurological Conditions
Pharmaceutical research companies are developing 547 new medicines to treat debilitating neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson's and stroke. Combined, the disorders targeted by this research inflict great pain and suffering on patients and their families and every year cost the world economy billions. In 2004, the economic cost of neurological diseases in Europe alone was estimated to be €139 billion.

More than 900 new medicines are in development to treat the diseases of ageing. This is good news. Today Europe is facing a dramatic new reality, that of an ageing population. Birth rates are falling and Europeans are growing older at an unprecedented rate. Projections alone show that by the year 2050, 60% of all European adults are expected to be over the age of 65 while life expectancy on average is expected to be over 80 years.

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