More companies join the leaders, yet progress on AMR is slow

The 2020 AMR Benchmark evaluates 30 companies with a major stake in the anti-infectives space, including those with the largest R&D divisions, the largest market presence, and leading expertise in developing critically needed antibiotics and antifungals. These are among the last companies that remain invested in keeping such medicines and vaccines available and developing new ones.

Large R&D-based companies

86%
GSK
27 Projects in the pipeline
95 Products on the market
Score breakdown
36% Research & Development
13% Responsible Manufacturing
37% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
69%
Pfizer
8 Projects in the pipeline
190 Products on the market
Score breakdown
21% Research & Development
12% Responsible Manufacturing
36% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
68%
Johnson & Johnson
11 Projects in the pipeline
25 Products on the market
Score breakdown
22% Research & Development
13% Responsible Manufacturing
32% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
63%
Shionogi
8 Projects in the pipeline
7 Products on the market
Score breakdown
24% Research & Development
17% Responsible Manufacturing
21% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
54%
Novartis
1 Projects in the pipeline
152 Products on the market
Score breakdown
8% Research & Development
17% Responsible Manufacturing
29% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
52%
Otsuka
4 Projects in the pipeline
1 Products on the market
Score breakdown
21% Research & Development
9% Responsible Manufacturing
21% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
49%
Merck & Co, Inc
12 Projects in the pipeline
26 Products on the market
Score breakdown
19% Research & Development
12% Responsible Manufacturing
18% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
42%
Sanofi
6 Projects in the pipeline
102 Products on the market
Score breakdown
11% Research & Development
12% Responsible Manufacturing
19% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
GSKPfizerJohnson & JohnsonShionogiNovartisOtsukaMerck & Co, IncSanofi

Generic medicine manufacturers

70%
Cipla
N/A Projects in the pipeline
72 Products on the market
Score breakdown
N/A Research & Development
25% Responsible Manufacturing
45% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
63%
Teva
N/A Projects in the pipeline
202 Products on the market
Score breakdown
N/A Research & Development
26% Responsible Manufacturing
37% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
55%
Fresenius Kabi
N/A Projects in the pipeline
51 Products on the market
Score breakdown
N/A Research & Development
20% Responsible Manufacturing
35% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
53%
Abbott
N/A Projects in the pipeline
85 Products on the market
Score breakdown
N/A Research & Development
25% Responsible Manufacturing
28% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
53%
Mylan
N/A Projects in the pipeline
173 Products on the market
Score breakdown
N/A Research & Development
23% Responsible Manufacturing
30% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
31%
Aurobindo
N/A Projects in the pipeline
43 Products on the market
Score breakdown
N/A Research & Development
23% Responsible Manufacturing
9% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
14%
Alkem
N/A Projects in the pipeline
92 Products on the market
Score breakdown
N/A Research & Development
14% Responsible Manufacturing
0% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
11%
Sun Pharma
N/A Projects in the pipeline
90 Products on the market
Score breakdown
N/A Research & Development
11% Responsible Manufacturing
0% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
6%
Hainan Hailing
N/A Projects in the pipeline
47 Products on the market
Score breakdown
N/A Research & Development
6% Responsible Manufacturing
0% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
CiplaTevaFresenius KabiAbbottMylanAurobindoAlkemSun PharmaHainan Hailing

Pharmaceutical SMEs

80%
Entasis
4 Projects in the pipeline
N/A Products on the market
Score breakdown
80% Research & Development
N/A Responsible Manufacturing
N/A Appropriate Access & Stewardship
75%
Wockhardt
9 Projects in the pipeline
59 Products on the market
Score breakdown
75% Research & Development
N/A Responsible Manufacturing
N/A Appropriate Access & Stewardship
65%
Summit
3 Projects in the pipeline
N/A Products on the market
Score breakdown
65% Research & Development
N/A Responsible Manufacturing
N/A Appropriate Access & Stewardship
60%
Melinta
11 Projects in the pipeline
5 Products on the market
Score breakdown
60% Research & Development
N/A Responsible Manufacturing
N/A Appropriate Access & Stewardship
60%
Tetraphase
3 Projects in the pipeline
N/A Products on the market
Score breakdown
60% Research & Development
N/A Responsible Manufacturing
N/A Appropriate Access & Stewardship
50%
Amplyx
1 Projects in the pipeline
N/A Products on the market
Score breakdown
50% Research & Development
N/A Responsible Manufacturing
N/A Appropriate Access & Stewardship
45%
Debiopharm
4 Projects in the pipeline
N/A Products on the market
Score breakdown
45% Research & Development
N/A Responsible Manufacturing
N/A Appropriate Access & Stewardship
45%
Nabriva
7 Projects in the pipeline
N/A Products on the market
Score breakdown
45% Research & Development
N/A Responsible Manufacturing
N/A Appropriate Access & Stewardship
45%
Polyphor
3 Projects in the pipeline
N/A Products on the market
Score breakdown
45% Research & Development
N/A Responsible Manufacturing
N/A Appropriate Access & Stewardship
45%
Scynexis
5 Projects in the pipeline
N/A Products on the market
Score breakdown
45% Research & Development
N/A Responsible Manufacturing
N/A Appropriate Access & Stewardship
40%
Motif Bio
4 Projects in the pipeline
N/A Products on the market
Score breakdown
40% Research & Development
0% Responsible Manufacturing
0% Appropriate Access & Stewardship
30%
Achaogen
4 Projects in the pipeline
N/A Products on the market
Score breakdown
30% Research & Development
N/A Responsible Manufacturing
N/A Appropriate Access & Stewardship
30%
Cidara
3 Projects in the pipeline
N/A Products on the market
Score breakdown
30% Research & Development
N/A Responsible Manufacturing
N/A Appropriate Access & Stewardship
EntasisWockhardtSummitMelintaTetraphaseAmplyxDebiopharmNabrivaPolyphorScynexisMotif BioAchaogenCidara
Performance trends in 2020

More companies join the leaders, yet progress on AMR is slow

The 2020 Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark finds signs of improvement in how pharmaceutical companies are tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR), particularly when it comes to stewardship. Disclosure, particularly among generic medicine manufacturers, has also improved. 

More companies are taking steps to reduce the risk of overselling antibiotics and antifungal medicines to healthcare practitioners. Companies are also sharing what they know about resistance from their surveillance programmes, with Pfizer setting the pace by publicly sharing its raw data. 

Companies aim to prevent overselling
Almost half of the companies take steps to promote their medicines responsibly, while six companies show best practice by not by not actively promoting such medicines or fully decoupling sales agents’ bonuses from volumes.

Environmental risk-management strategies for manufacturing go somewhat further than in 2018, with companies also publicly committing to a comprehensive list of defined discharge limits. More clinical-stage antibiotics than in 2018 are supported by plans to ensure better access and good stewardship soon after launch. However, the development of such plans remains patchy. 

Good practices are overshadowed by slow pace of change
Examples of good or even best practice can be found in all areas. Nevertheless, the pace of change does not match the scale of the AMR challenge. A few companies deserve recognition for continuing to step up their efforts across multiple areas, yet others have rolled back good practice since 2018, or have taken steps to leave the market. 

The R&D pipeline for priority bacteria and fungi remains small, despite rising rates of resistance, and includes few novel candidates. In most areas of R&D, the bulk of the activity is carried out by just a few companies, for example in vaccines R&D and antifungal R&D. One company, GSK, is developing almost a fifth of all projects identified. This concentration puts important candidates at risk – there are very few companies to develop them further and bring them to market, should the current asset owners withdraw from this space. 

Few clinical-stage medicines are novel
Of the 138 R&D projects in the pipeline, only nine medicines in the clinical stages of development are considered novel, meaning they offer a lower risk of resistance.

Almost all companies with antibiotics on the market are side-stepping or overlooking opportunities to improve the availability of such products in high-need countries,* as reflected by low numbers of registration filings for new products, and by a lack of efforts to supply older, still useful antibiotics to low- and middle-income countries.

External incentives effective at spurring action
Companies are more likely to take action in response to clear priorities or external incentives, such as those offered by civil society or public health agencies. For example, more than a third of R&D projects target pathogens in the highest threat category defined by WHO and CDC, and companies are sharing surveillance data and results with multi-partner, multinational programmes. 

Research grants and other ‘push’ incentives for R&D have stimulated SMEs to become leaders in developing innovative antibacterial and antifungal medicines. Companies are responding differently to the lack of acquisition interest by larger companies for successful assets. For example, in October 2019, Melinta delayed the commercial launch of its antibacterial delafloxacin (Baxdela®) so additional sources of liquidity could be secured. In December 2019, it filed for bankruptcy. Achaogen filed for bankruptcy in 2019, despite launching an effective new antibiotic. Other small- and medium-sized companies in scope are currently at risk of going bankrupt. It is necessary to increase public and private investments to guarantee the global supply of any antibiotics emerging from the pipeline.

Generics companies expand their role
Leading generic medicine manufacturers continue to expand beyond their conventional role of major producers, with at least one company investing in R&D, and more companies now also taking steps such as strategies for affordability, licensing deals to improve availability, and measures to ensure reliable supplies. For example, Cipla acquired the rights to plazomycin from Achaogen, taking responsibility for making it available, including in LMICs.

*102 low- and middle-income countries where bacterial and fungal infectious diseases are endemic, and where populations are more likely to lack access to antibacterial and antifungal medicines.

Methodology

The goal of the Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark is to guide and incentivise pharmaceutical companies to do more to tackle drug-resistance. It identifies good ideas for limiting AMR and highlights where action is still required. To fairly compare the diverse companies, the Benchmark evaluated them only in those metrics that are relevant to their portfolio and pipelines, comparing them in three groups: large research-based pharmaceutical companies, generic medicine manufacturers and pharmaceutical SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises). Read more about the analytical framework here.

Company trends

Large R&D-based companies

GSK leads the group in 2020, followed closely by Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. Shionogi has moved up, in front of Novartis and Otsuka. All companies in this group take diverse action to limit AMR. However, only a few continue to expand efforts to safeguard this critical area of modern medicine.

Learn more

Generic medicine manufacturers

Cipla, Teva and Fresenius Kabi take the lead in this group in 2020. All three are implementing policies that will help ensure antibacterial and antifungal medicines are promoted responsibly. Against a backdrop of greater disclosure, the leaders in this group are reported as taking additional steps against AMR compared to 2018.

Learn more

Pharmaceutical SMEs

Entasis leads in 2020, followed closely by Wockhardt. Three leaders stand out for targeting bacteria in the highest threat category defined by WHO and the CDC, and for supporting late-stage projects with plans to ensure better access and good stewardship soon after launch. Transparency in this group has improved since 2018.

Learn more

Explore the results

Research & Development

Read what the 2020 AMR Benchmark found when it analysed the R&D pipelines of eight large research-based companies and 13 pharmaceutical SMEs. It has mapped their medicine and vaccine projects targeting priority bacterial and fungal pathogens.

Learn more

Responsible Manufacturing

Read the results of the 2020 AMR Benchmark analysis into how eight large research-based companies and nine generic medicine manufacturers aim to minimise the risk that antibacterial discharge released from factories contributes to AMR.

Learn more

Appropriate Access & Stewardship

Read the findings from the 2020 AMR Benchmark on access strategies for antibacterial and antifungal products in LMICs from eight large research-based companies and nine generic medicine manufacturers, as well as stewardship initiatives.

Learn more

Back to top |