The number of new drugs approved to treat neglected diseases annually has nearly doubled since 2000, with therapies for HIV/AIDS and malaria accounting for 60% of the most recent approvals, the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development has found.

In a new analysis, the center shows that from 2000 to 2008, an average of 2.6 new drug products— including new molecular entities, vaccines, indications, combinations, and formulations—were approved every year. In 2009 to 2012, that number jumped to an average of five per year.

Among other findings, the analysis also shows that public-private partnerships accounted for 50% of new product approvals between 2009 and 2012, and that industry’s share of sponsorhip of neglected disease drug development jumped to 44% during that same timeframe, up from 36% in 2000 to 2008.

Still, despite the uptick in new approvals, Tufts notes R&D spending on neglected diseases has plateaued.

“The trend in approvals is clearly going in the right direction, but annual R&D spending to treat neglected diseases has leveled off at $3 billion in total, after rising rapidly from 2000 to 2007, which is a cause of concern,” Tufts PI Joshua Cohen, Ph.D., said in a statement. “While increased approvals may result in greater access to new medicines, policy makers need to ensure that safe, effective, and easy-to-administer products are adopted by health care systems, that they are affordable, and that they reach the people who need them,” he added.

This analysis appears in the July/August edition of the “Tufts CSDD Impact Report,” released today.

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