Alex Philippidis Senior News Editor Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

These companies invest the most money in the search for new drugs.

For all the talk about biopharmas cutting back on research and development, more companies (12) actually increased their R&D spending in 2013 than decreased it (eight), if the latest GEN List is any indication.

Reasons for the fluctuations vary. Inevitably, companies that ramped up their R&D spending the most cited the need to support later-stage clinical programs, while biopharmas that reduced R&D spending often—but not always—did so as part of companywide restructurings designed to cut costs and enhance efficiency.

Most but not all heritage “big pharma” companies reduced R&D, while biotechs continued to increase their R&D spending—yet remain below the levels of the pharma giants.

However, two U.K.-based biopharmas (GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca) restated their 2012 R&D expenses, by lowering them from figures originally announced for that year (and in one case, subsequently published last year in GEN’s List of Top 20 R&D Spenders in 2012). The companies cited the revision of International Accounting Standard (IAS) 19 that took effect in 2013. The change eliminated the option to defer the recognition of actuarial gains and losses from defined benefit post-employment plans.

For companies whose spending is converted into dollars from other currencies, some of the 2012 figures reported this year differ from those in the original list, reflecting currency fluctuations since then. Following is GEN’s List of Top 20 R&D Spenders for 2013, ranked by total R&D expenses as reported in annual filings or press releases. Each company is listed by name, 2013 spending, 2012 spending, and the percentage change from 2012.


#20. Merck KGaA

2013 R&D spending: $1.638 billion (€1.183 billion)1
2012 R&D spending: $1.644 billion (€1.187 billion)1
% Change: -0.3%


#19. Astellas Pharma

2013 R&D spending: $1.771 billion (¥182.000 billion)
2012 R&D spending: $1.846 billion (¥189.800 billion)
% Change: -4.1%


#18. Daiichi Sankyo

2013 R&D spending: $1.777 billion (¥183.047 billion)
2012 R&D spending: $1.796 billion (¥185.052 billion)
% Change: -1.1%


#17. Gilead Sciences

2013 R&D spending: $2.120 billion
2012 R&D spending: $1.760 billion
% Change: 20.5%


#16. Novo Nordisk

2013 R&D spending: $2.178 billion (DKK 11.733 billion)
2012 R&D spending: $2.023 billion (DKK 10.897 billion)
% Change: 7.7% 


#15. Celgene

2013 R&D spending: $2.226 billion
2012 R&D spending: $1.724 billion
% Change: 29.1%


#14. Bayer

2013: R&D spending: $2.291 billion (€1.654 billion)2
2012: R&D spending: $2.162 billion (€1.561 billion)2
% Change: 6.0%


#13. AbbVie3

2013 R&D spending: $2.855 billion3
2012 R&D spending: $2.778 billion3
% Change: 2.8%


#12. Takeda Pharmaceutical

2013 R&D spending: $3.148 billion (¥324.292 billion)
2012 R&D spending: $2.737 billion (¥281.885 billion)
% Change: 15.0%


#11. Bristol-Myers Squibb

2013 R&D spending: $3.731 billion
2012 R&D spending: $3.904 billion
% Change: -4.4%


For all the talk about biopharmas cutting back on research and development, more companies (12) actually increased their R&D spending in 2013 than decreased it (eight), if the latest GEN List is any indication.

Reasons for the fluctuations vary. Inevitably, companies that ramped up their R&D spending the most cited the need to support later-stage clinical programs, while biopharmas that reduced R&D spending often—but not always—did so as part of companywide restructurings designed to cut costs and enhance efficiency.

Most but not all heritage “big pharma” companies reduced R&D, while biotechs continued to increase their R&D spending—yet remain below the levels of the pharma giants.

However, two U.K.-based biopharmas (GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca) restated their 2012 R&D expenses, by lowering them from figures originally announced for that year (and in one case, subsequently published last year in GEN’s List of Top 20 R&D Spenders in 2012). The companies cited the revision of International Accounting Standard (IAS) 19 that took effect in 2013. The change eliminated the option to defer the recognition of actuarial gains and losses from defined benefit post-employment plans.

For companies whose spending is converted into dollars from other currencies, some of the 2012 figures reported this year differ from those in the original list, reflecting currency fluctuations since then. Following is GEN’s List of Top 20 R&D Spenders for 2013, ranked by total R&D expenses as reported in annual filings or press releases. Each company is listed by name, 2013 spending, 2012 spending, and the percentage change from 2012.


#10. Amgen

2013 R&D spending: $3.929 billion
2012 R&D spending: $3.296 billion
% Change: 19.2%


#9. AstraZeneca

2013 R&D spending: $4.821 billion
2012 R&D spending: $5.243 billion4
% Change: 13.7%


#8. Eli Lilly

2013 R&D spending: $5.531 billion
2012 R&D spending: $5.278 billion
% Change: 4.8%


#7. GlaxoSmithKline

2013 R&D spending: $6.518 billion (£3.923 billion)
2012 R&D spending: $6.611 billion (£3.979 billion)5
% Change: -1.4%


#6. Sanofi

2013 R&D spending: $6.608 billion (€4.770 billion)
2012 R&D spending: $6.818 billion (€4.922 billion)
% Change: -3.1%


#5. Pfizer

2013 R&D spending: $6.678 billion
2012 R&D spending: $7.482 billion6
% Change: -10.7%


#4. Merck & Co.

2013 R&D spending: $7.503 billion
2012 R&D spending: $8.168 billion
% Change: -8.1%


#3. Johnson & Johnson

2013 R&D spending: $8.183 billion
2012 R&D spending: $7.665 billion
% Change: 6.8%


#2. Novartis

2013 R&D spending: $9.852 billion
2012 R&D spending: $9.332 billion
% Change: 5.6%


#1. Roche

2013 R&D spending: $9.910 billion (CHF 8.700 billion)
2012 R&D spending: $9.654 billion (CHF 8.475 billion)
% Change: 2.7%





















Notes:
1 Results include solely R&D spending of Merck Serono, the company’s pharmaceuticals division.
2 Bayer furnishes R&D expense and net sales figures for the pharmaceuticals segment of its Bayer HealthCare unit.
3 2012 figure is a portion of the total $4.322 billion in R&D carried out that year by predecessor company Abbott Laboratories. On January 2, 2013, Abbott spun off its branded biopharmaceutical operations into AbbVie.
4 R&D spending figures restated in 2012. Company cited the revision of IAS 19.
5 R&D spending figure restated in 2012. Company cited the revision of IAS 19.
6 Restated from $7.870 billion reported in Pfizer’s Form 10-K for 2012 and stated in GEN’s list last year. Company cited lower-than-expected charges toward implementing cost-reduction and productivity initiatives announced in 2011, plus efficiencies gained from the initiatives “to a lesser extent.” 

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