AstraZeneca top the 2023 Invention Index

Written by Staff — 2023-05-02.

AstraZeneca’s reappearance as one of the most innovative companies in 2021 was no fluke. The British pharma giant solidified its place in the top three for a second year in a row, coming in at number 3 in the Innovation Index and earning the number 1 spot in this year’s Invention Index. ​

2022 was another year of growth for the company with an approximate $7 billion increase in revenue from 2021. Over 10% of sales were generated from drugs approved within the last three years, which places the drugmaker in the top half of companies of similar size. ​

​​Looking under the hood, the reason for AstraZeneca’s success becomes clear. In terms of moving medicines closer to market (a core metric of the Innovation Index), AstraZeneca had one of the higher R&D success rates, at 19%. The company also earned 34 approvals in major markets (US, EU, China, and Japan) and had 29 pipeline progression events. This included the approval of two novel medicines: Imjudo (tremelimumab) for liver cancer and NSCLC, and Beyfortus (nirsevimab) for the prevention of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants. ​

​Like much of the industry, AstraZeneca’s growth in 2022 was led by its oncology products, which had a 15% increase in sales from 2021—more than any other area in the organization—driven by Tagrisso (osimertinib), Enhertu (trastuzumab deruxtecan), Imfinzi (durvalumab), Lynparza (olaparib), and Calquence (acalabrutinib).​

​Perhaps most impressive though is the state of AstraZeneca’s pipeline, with its broad scope, diversity, and potential to impact key unmet needs, leading the company to the top of this year’s Invention Index. At the end of 2022, the company boasted 179 pipeline projects, of which 155 were in clinical development. While several large pharma players have similarly broad pipelines, what set AstraZeneca apart was the potential of its products to have an outsized impact in disease areas and populations with high unmet needs.

What will be especially interesting to watch in the future is how the British giant continues to build out its already impressive pipeline. This is because the company has one of the highest levels of investment into AI-enabled drug discovery of any company over the last three years. While it is too early to tell what impact this will have, it highlights AstraZeneca’s dedication to maintaining an already stellar pipeline.

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