KMR Group Release: Pharmaceutical Benchmarking Forum's Cycle Time Data Reveals Challenges and Opportunities in R&D Industry

Published: Feb 07, 2012

CHICAGO, Illinois, February 7, 2012 – It takes over 9 years for a typical molecule to complete Development, beginning with first entry into GLP toxicology studies through market approval. According to a recent analysis by the Pharmaceutical Benchmarking Forum (PBF), this crucial cycle time metric has not been declining in recent years but in fact has been slightly increasing, at least for the Industry as a whole.

This analysis is based on detailed data from the PBF -- which consists of the leading pharmaceutical companies -- and offers the most reliable foundation for understanding cycle times at the molecule and project (or indication) level. It covers all therapy areas and both small and large molecules.

“There are surprising differences for individual company cycle times, which can point to tangible opportunities for some of them,” according to Scott Martin of KMR Group, the firm facilitating the analysis. “And there are interesting variations by therapy area and molecule size, but it remains the case that overall Industry figures – based on a wealth of solid data -- reveal not only the substantial time required to complete both Discovery and Development but also the fact that cycle times have not been decreasing.”

Founded in 1997, the PBF is the Industry’s premier source for R&D analytics. In 2011 the following submitted data for this analysis: Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck Research Labs, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, and Sanofi. The PBF examines performance for areas within R&D as well, with potential detailed studies of Pharmaceutical Development and Biomarkers this year, for example.

“Industry” means all data from contributing companies is combined into single analysis (as if they were a single company).

Composite means: cycle time results for all R&D phases are combined based on NMEs which completed the phase in the given 3-year period.

R&D cycle time means all phases of Discovery (assay development, screening, optimization) and Development.

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About KMR

KMR has been working exclusively in the biopharmaceutical R&D industry since the early 1990s. KMR is a leader in benchmarking, analytics and performance management. With an exclusive focus on biopharmaceutical R&D and unrivaled commitment to data quality, KMR provides industry with the experience and knowledge to produce clear and uncompromising results in the form of reports, tools and presentations. We use our extensive, unparalleled datasets and experience within the industry to add value to the most pressing business questions. Please visit our website at

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