Pace of Pharmaceutical Innovation Accelerates as Record Number of New Blockbuster Drugs Forecast to Hit the Market in 2018

Twelve new game-changing drugs predicted to achieve annual sales of >$1 billion by 2022, to the benefit of millions of patients around the world

PHILADELPHIA, USA. March 22, 2018 — Clarivate Analytics, the global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to accelerate the pace of innovation, announced today the launch of its annual “Drugs to Watch” report. The analysis identified 12 new drugs forecast to achieve annual sales of $1 billion or more (ie, blockbuster status) by 2022 using the Cortellis database, which includes information gathered from diverse sources including drug pipelines, patents, clinical trials, chemistry, deals and company announcements. More blockbuster drugs have been predicted to launch in 2018 than in any other year since the Drugs to Watch report began in 2013.

The drugs forecasted to launch in 2018 cover a wide range of therapeutic areas—ie, type 2 diabetes, endometriosis, childhood epilepsy, hemophilia, HIV, migraine, opioid addiction and shingles. Noteworthy examples on this list include:

Drug & company Disease & Impact


Amgen (USA)

Novartis (Switzerland)


Migraine: Migraine is the third most common disease in the world, with an estimated global prevalence of 14.7% (ie, 1 in 7 people).1 Fewer than 50% of patients with migraine are satisfied with their current treatment. After little movement for many years, the migraine-prevention market is about to undergo a transformation with several new drugs, known as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor inhibitor.

Aimovig (erenumab) has the potential to contribute to the transformation of the migraine market in 2018.


(tenofovir alafenamide +

emtricitabine + bictegravir)

Gilead (USA)

HIV infection: 37 million people globally are living with HIV; 21 million of whom receive antiretroviral therapy.2 While antiretroviral therapy does not cure HIV infection, it suppresses viral replication and allows an individual’s immune system to strengthen and regain the capacity to fight off infections.

Expanding access to antiretroviral treatment is at the heart of a new set of targets for 2020, issued by the WHO, which aim to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.2 Biktarvy offers an effective and simple treatment option for patients with HIV.



Novo Nordisk (Denmark)

Type 2 diabetes: More than 425 million people globally live with diabetes, 90% with type 2 diabetes. By 2045, this number is projected to rise to 629 million.3

Despite competing in a crowded market, Ozempic represents a new treatment that helps patients effectively control their blood sugar and significantly reduces the health risks commonly associated with diabetes—such as strokes and heart attacks. It is forecast to perform well due to its superior efficacy and safety versus competitor products.


(Zoster vaccine

recombinant, adjuvanted)


GlaxoSmithKline (UK)

Shingles: It’s estimated around one in every four people will have at least one episode of shingles during their life.4 The only vaccine to make the list is GSK’s Shingrix (Zoster vaccine recombinant, adjuvanted), which is set to become the market leading shingles vaccine.

(once-monthly buprenorphine)


Indivior (UK)

Opioid dependence: More than 15 million people are living with opioid dependence worldwide.5 This disorder is ongoing and is rapidly evolving into a public health crisis, with the US government declaring a public health emergency in late 2017.

Sublocade looks set to disrupt the market for medication-assisted treatment to overcome opioid use disorder. It is administered via subcutaneous injection once a month by a healthcare provider and does not require a detox period, thereby addressing the limitations of other treatment options.

2018 is also expected to see the launch of the first FDA-approved cannabidiol-based drug (Epidiolex)—potentially opening up a new market for cannabidiol-based medicines—and the first approved treatment option for men with castration-resistant prostate cancer (Erleada) whose cancer has not yet spread.

“Despite political and regulatory uncertainties in the USA and EU markets, the annual Drugs to Watch report 2018 shows that the pace of pharmaceutical innovation continues to accelerate,” explained Mukhtar Ahmed, President, Life Sciences at Clarivate Analytics. “2018 is on track to see many new potential game-changing drugs come to market, which will benefit the lives of millions of patients around the world.”

Data for this report were compiled from the Cortellis database, the premier source of life sciences competitive, clinical and regulatory intelligence and analytics which includes data gathered from diverse sources, including annual filings, drug pipelines, clinical trials, patents, chemistry, company announcements, deals and conferences.


Cortellis delivers the unique insights needed to reduce risk and increase success across the drug development lifecycle from early discovery to commercialization and beyond. The Cortellis suite of solutions serves the needs of life science professionals with unmatched content, intelligent search, best-in class analytics and insightful visualization tools. For more information, visit


The annual Drugs to Watch report was first published in 2013. Using data from Cortellis, the report aims to forecast which drug launches in a given year will achieve blockbuster status within five years of launch. Following an advanced analysis of this database, a shortlist of drugs is manually researched and evaluated by life-science experts at Clarivate Analytics, who review each drug in its individual context and assess clinical trial results, regulatory data, market data and regulatory designations for each drug.

The full report is available at:

Follow us on Twitter: @Cortellis | #blockbusterdrugs2018


Clarivate Analytics is the global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to accelerate the pace of innovation. Building on a heritage going back more than a century and a half, we have built some of the most trusted brands across the innovation lifecycle, including Web of Science, Cortellis, Derwent, CompuMark, MarkMonitor and Techstreet. Today, Clarivate Analytics is a new and independent company on a bold entrepreneurial mission to help our clients radically reduce the time from new ideas to life-changing innovations. For more information, please visit


Drug Disease 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 Company (HQ)
1 Hemlibra (emicizumab)*,†,|,¶,‡‡ Hemophilia A with factor VIII inhibitors 496 1,457 2,356 3,362 4,002 Roche (Switzerland)/Chugai (Japan)
2 Biktarvy (tenofovir alafenamide + emtricitabine + bictegravir)**,¶, †† HIV infection 896 2,282 3,387 4,296 3,716 Gilead (U.S.)
3 Ozempic (semaglutide)* Type 2 diabetes


260 862 1,576 2,583 3,469 Novo Nordisk (Denmark)
4 Erleada (apalutamide)¶,** Non-metastatic CRPC 25 500 1,200 1,600 2,000 Johnson & Johnson (U.S.)
5 Shingrix (Zoster vaccine recombinant, adjuvanted)§§ Shingles 242 537 879 1,202 1,368 GlaxoSmithKline (UK)
6 Patisiran§,|,¶,‡‡ Hereditary TTR amyloidosis 83 373 726 1,104 1,212 Alnylam (U.S.)/Genzyme (U.S.)
7 Epidiolex (plant-derived cannabidiol)‡|,¶,** Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome 19 266 645 936 1,191 GW Pharmaceuticals (UK)


8 Aimovig (erenumab)*,‡‡ Migraine 115 361 685 941 1,170 Amgen (U.S.)/Novartis (Switzerland)
9 Lanadelumab*,†,|,¶,‡‡ Hereditary angioedema 74 350 629 902 1,153 Shire (Ireland)
10 Elagolix¶,**,‡‡ Endometriosis 57 268 549 896 1,152 AbbVie (U.S.)
11 Steglatro (ertugliflozin)** Type 2 diabetes


220 482 769 1,024 1,087 Pfizer (U.S.)/Merck (U.S.)
12 Sublocade (once-monthly buprenorphine)‡,¶,** Opioid dependence 121 308 439 634 1,072 Indivior (UK)

Table: Analysis of 12 new drugs forecast to enter the market in 2018 and achieve blockbuster sales of over $1 billion by 2022

Data were obtained from the Cortellis Competitive Intelligence database, accessed March 05, 2018 (Source: Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S). Forecasts are in U.S.$ million.  CRPC=castration-resistant prostate cancer. TTR=transthyretin*=biological drug. †=Breakthrough Therapy designation. ‡=Fast Track designation. §=RNA interference. |=Orphan Drug designation. ¶=Priority Review. **=small molecule. ††=novel integrase inhibitor. ‡‡=first-in-class. §§= vaccine.

North America EMEA Asia-Pacific
Jessica Stanek

Mario Christodoulou

Pamela Lim


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