Merck, Biogen, Lilly Top 2016 Drug Approvals Despite FDA Slump

After rising for three consecutive years, the FDA's drug approval rate in 2016 plunged to a nine-year low despite Biogen (BIIB), Merck (MRK) and Eli Lilly (LLY) each adding two new drugs to their bailiwicks, according to Swiss biotech HBM Partners.

The Food and Drug Administration approved 19 new molecular entities in 2016, down 51% from 45 in 2015 — a year that marked a decade-high for approvals NMEs, says HBM. There had not been fewer NMEs approved since 2007, when the FDA gave its...

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