The global dermatology pipeline, which currently comprises 850 products with a disclosed stage of development, is primarily made up of drugs at an early stage of development, with the late stages of the pipeline dominated by generics and biosimilars, according to business intelligence provider GBI Research.

The company’s latest report: Global Dermatology Drugs Market to 2023, states that some 42% of the pipeline is in the preclinical stage, whereas 14% is in the discovery stage and only 3% of drugs are in the preregistration stage.

Around a third of the pipeline is in clinical development, and fewer than half are novel.

Ross Wilkinson, Associate Analyst for GBI Research, explains: “The strong presence of biologics in the late-stage pipeline could have a considerable impact on treatment algorithms in the dermatology therapy area during the forecast period. Furthermore, these innovative therapies, which have only been used for a little more than a decade, in primarily a single dermatological indication, were able to reap large commercial revenues – as illustrated by the success of Humira and Stelara for the treatment of moderate-to-severe psoriasis – and will continue to do so with the expected shift towards increased usage of biologics.”

Overall, the dermatology pipeline is highly innovative, owing to advancements in understanding the disease pathways of many skin disorders.

The majority of dermatology pipeline assets are novel active pharmaceutical ingredients, with only a small proportion of products being either generics or repositioned from other indications.

Wilkinson concludes: “As the phase of development progresses, the degree of novelty decreases.’’

According to GBI Research, 98% of products at the discovery phase are novel, and only 46% of pipeline products are novel at the preregistration stage, illustrating that the development of novel pipeline products confers a greater risk of failure.

Wilkinson adds: ‘‘Nonetheless, there are still a notable number of novel molecules in late-stage development, which is indicative of a strong pipeline.”