Association announces likely licensing of new drugs this year

The Association of Research-based Pharmaceutical Companies, the vfa, says it expects more than thirty new medicines to be approved for use in 2021. These drugs include new vaccines against COVID-19 as well as gene-based therapies for cancers and rare metabolic disorders.

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The German pharmaceutical industry continues to develop innovative new therapies for a wide range of illnesses, despite the pressures placed on it by the coronavirus pandemic. The vfa says, in addition to products for treating COVID-19 and some cancers, among the new drugs will be those for HIV, antibiotics, multiple sclerosis (MS), and inherited metabolic disorders.

The vfa’s forecast is based on applications filed with the EU or recently approved products. Some of these licenses were for coronavirus medicines that received accelerated approval due to the pandemic The association reports Germany has developed more than 30 products with new effective ingredients that will be licensed in 2021; this, after 32 medicines were approved last year. Additionally, the vfa says a number of drugs already on the market will have their indications broadened to include C-19 and different types of cancers.

The vfa notes that unprecedented, rapid development work carried out in conjunction with COVID-19 will lead to the introduction of additional vaccines and drugs. It says the antibodies these products contain can be used either to combat viruses or inhibit the overactive immune systems in critically ill patients. It estimated that at least a quarter of the new drugs in 2021 will be those for treating infectious disease.

The new HIV drugs, says the vfa, will be primarily for patients who have developed resistance to existing treatments. Furthermore, new antibiotics will become available for resistant bacteria, as well as a product for anthrax that contains antibodies. Han Steutel, the president of the Berlin-based association says, "Such drugs are important contributions from companies for overcoming the growing problem of resistance. Other solutions will also be needed to treat other resistant pathogens, including further pandemics as well.”

The vfa works closely with the export initiative for the German healthcare industry, HEALTH MADE IN GERMANY. It contributes the latest information on research and innovation in the sector.

Meanwhile, HEALTH MADE IN GERMANY itself is the place to learn more about the German pharmaceutical industry. It has published guides, including the German Pharmaceutical Industry Profile, and can provide expert advice on everything from Germany’s globally-known giants to SMEs as well as government support for innovation and cooperation between industry and basic science in drug development.