Issue:June 2021

GLOBAL REPORT – 2020 Global Drug Delivery & Formulation Report: Part 4, The Drug Delivery and Formulation Pipeline

Part 4 of a Four-Part Series

Part 1: A Review of 2020 Product Approvals
Part 2: Notable Drug Delivery and Formulation Product Approvals of 2020
Part 3: Notable Drug Delivery & Formulation Transactions and Technologies of 2020
Part 4: The Drug Delivery and Formulation Pipeline

By: Kurt Sedo, Vice President Operations, and Selda Candan, Vice President Data Analytics, PharmaCircle LLC


The pharmaceutical pipeline in 2020 developed in two ways that would have been surprising the year before. The first of these was the introduction of thousands of products into development for the treatment of Infectious Disease to treat COVID-19. There are currently more than 2,500 identified products in development for COVID-19. This includes products newly designed and developed for either prevention or treatment, products found in the pipeline cupboard and dusted off in hopes of success, and products approved for a variety of non-COVID-19 indications that offer important adjunctive benefits. One of the most critical adjunctive products, one that surprisingly requires FDA approval, is Oxygen. Its shortage in many parts of the world is leading to many avoidable deaths. A summary of the current COVID-19 pipeline is presented later in this report.

A second surprise is the large number of Cell Therapy products that have entered Phase 1 development. There are more than 2,000 cell therapies approved or at some stage of development, including more than 550 in Phase 1 development and some 1,275 products at a Research or Preclinical stage of development. A significant number of the Phase 1 products are being developed by companies based in China.

Beyond these two outliers, the development pipeline continued to show strong growth as more and more investment money rushes in to capture the financial potential of the new ideas bubbling up from emerging companies hoping to treat disease with new molecular and therapeutic strategies.

Once again, this year’s Drug Delivery and Formulation Pipeline analysis leans on PharmaCircle’s Pipeline Dynamics companion module to the Pipeline & Products Intelligence module and covers 6 years of the pharmaceutical pipeline history. By capturing detailed records annually of what products were at what stage of development from 2014/15 through to 2020/21, it is now possible to visualize the dynamic history of pharmaceutical product development. The following pages include pipeline snapshots and comparisons for a number of parameters that are of most interest to drug delivery and formulation professionals – Disease Area, Molecule Type, and Delivery Route.

Click here to download/view part 4 of the entire report.