Estimation of clinical trial success rates and related parameters

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CHI HEEM WONG, KIEN WEI SIAH

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory & Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA and MIT Sloan School of Management and Laboratory for Financial Engineering, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA

ANDREW W. LO∗

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory & Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA, MIT Sloan School of Management and Laboratory for Financial Engineering, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA, and AlphaSimplex Group, LLC, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA

alo-admin@mit.edu

SUMMARY

Previous estimates of drug development success rates rely on relatively small samples from databases curated by the pharmaceutical industry and are subject to potential selection biases. Using a sample of 406 038 entries of clinical trial data for over 21 143 compounds from January 1, 2000 to October 31, 2015, we estimate aggregate clinical trial success rates and durations. We also compute disaggregated estimates across several trial features including disease type, clinical phase, industry or academic sponsor, biomarker presence, lead indication status, and time. In several cases, our results differ significantly in detail from widely cited statistics. For example, oncology has a 3.4% success rate in our sample vs. 5.1% in prior studies. However, after declining to 1.7% in 2012, this rate has improved to 2.5% and 8.3% in 2014 and 2015, respectively. In addition, trials that use biomarkers in patient-selection have higher overall success probabilities than trials without biomarkers.

Description

CHI HEEM WONG, KIEN WEI SIAH

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory & Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA and MIT Sloan School of Management and Laboratory for Financial Engineering, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA

ANDREW W. LO∗

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory & Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA, MIT Sloan School of Management and Laboratory for Financial Engineering, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA, and AlphaSimplex Group, LLC, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA

alo-admin@mit.edu

SUMMARY

Previous estimates of drug development success rates rely on relatively small samples from databases curated by the pharmaceutical industry and are subject to potential selection biases. Using a sample of 406 038 entries of clinical trial data for over 21 143 compounds from January 1, 2000 to October 31, 2015, we estimate aggregate clinical trial success rates and durations. We also compute disaggregated estimates across several trial features including disease type, clinical phase, industry or academic sponsor, biomarker presence, lead indication status, and time. In several cases, our results differ significantly in detail from widely cited statistics. For example, oncology has a 3.4% success rate in our sample vs. 5.1% in prior studies. However, after declining to 1.7% in 2012, this rate has improved to 2.5% and 8.3% in 2014 and 2015, respectively. In addition, trials that use biomarkers in patient-selection have higher overall success probabilities than trials without biomarkers.

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