Blogged on behalf of Current Partnering, Wildwood Ventures
Orphan drugs have become increasingly popular in the last decade, with 2011 seeing a fairly high frequency in deal making with 28 partnering deals. According to the Current Agreements life science deals and alliance database, there have been over 100 orphan drugs deals since 2007.
An orphan drug is a pharmaceutical agent that has been developed specifically to treat a rare medical condition, the condition itself being referred to as an orphan disease Unlike many other deal areas that involve top pharmaceutical (big pharma) companies taking part in deal making, orphan drugs has not been a popular area of deal making among the big pharma companies, with the exception of Pfizer. The reasons for this are pretty obvious in that big pharma prefer to seek out major therapeutic targets, in order to maximize return on R&D investment. However, this provides significant opportunity for smaller companies seeking a niche market opportunity.