Newly Published Analysis: Dementia: the R&D Landscape

The World Dementia Council and OHE have published a new OHE Research Paper on the dementia R&D landscape. The analysis was undertaken by OHE’s Grace Marsden and Dr Jorge Mestre-Ferrandiz for Imperial College and the UK Department of Health.

The report contains three main sections:

  1. A brief overview of the current thinking on the reasons for successes and failures of dementia treatments, based on a selective literature review
  2. A pipeline analysis of dementia treatments
  3. A comparison between dementia and other therapy areas.

Parts 2 & 3 provide a factual report of the current R&D landscape. A discussion of the reasons behind, and the implications of, the difficulties that are highlighted in this report will be published elsewhere*.

Part 1: Current perspectives on the reasons for successes and failures of dementia treatments

Key observations from the literature include:

  • R&D costs are higher for neurology and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (as well as respiratory and oncology) than other therapy areas 
  • Higher costs are likely due to lower success rates and longer development times
  • Recruitment of trial participants is a key challenge in the area of dementia.

Part 2: Pipeline analysis

The pipeline analysis found approximately 2,000 relevant clinical trials for dementia indications. Of these, 110 had been terminated early, only 45% of which had a reported reason for this early termination. Of the 45% which did provide a reason, the most commonly quoted explanation was recruitment problems, echoing the findings of the literature review.

In addition, 900 different products for dementia indications were identified, 197 of which were in “active” development, and 17 of which were marketed. 

The majority of the products in active development were classified as disease modifying (66%) rather than symptom modifying (31%), but only one of the marketed treatments is classified as disease modifying. 

217 of the products has been discontinued or suspended (for dementia related indications). Of these 217 projects, the most commonly reported reason was due to negative trial results, insufficient efficacy gains (including projects deemed unsuccessful) or adverse effects. A substantial 75% did not provide a reason for discontinuation or suspension

Part 3: Comparison with other therapy areas

The comparison with other therapy areas demonstrated that dementia indications have lower success rates than other therapy areas (likelihood of being marketed from phase 1 = 7.27% for dementia, and 15.3% for all therapy areas). 

View the press release on the World Dementia Council site here.

Access the full report here.

Related blogs: Future Cases of Dementia among People Born in 2015 & the Dementia Drug Pipeline

Background and acknowledgements: The Dementia Integrated Development Initiative was established by the UK Government to tackle the difficult topics of research gaps, development challenges, and regulation, in order to improve diagnosis and treatment of dementia worldwide. A Clinical and Technical Expert Group (CTEG) was set up as part of this initiative. The analysis presented in this report was commissioned by Imperial College London on behalf of CTEG.

*OHE is collaborating with CTEG to produce a discussion of the implied knowledge gaps and exploration of the difficulties that are highlighted in this report.

Posted in Drug Development/R&D | Tagged Research Papers