Unlucky for Some

Published on: 
Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology, January 2024, Volume 48, Issue 1

Clarivate has released its 2024 Drugs to Watch report, highlighting 13 therapies with great potential.

Across the Western world, the number 13 is commonly considered to be unlucky; so much so that in many aspects of life, such as hotel floors, aeroplane seat rows, and even house numbers, the use of 13 is avoided completely. Popular theories about the basis for this superstitious belief include the arrival of Judas Iscariot at the Last Supper and the Norse god Loki at a dinner party in Valhalla, as both were the 13th guest, and both are associated with negative outcomes (1).

However, in 2024, for the bio/pharma industry, 13 may prove to be lucky, certainly for the companies whose drugs have been revealed as ‘ones to watch’ in Clarivate’s latest annual report (2). Each year, analysts from Clarivate evaluate drugs in development and discern, using certain factors, which ones they believe will be blockbusters (reaching $1 billion in annual sales) or will be therapeutic game changers.

“The fundamentals underpinning the biopharma sector have never been stronger, with new technologies fuelling medical advancements and providing treatment options to patients with previously unmet needs,” said Mike Ward, global head of Thought Leadership, Life Sciences and Healthcare, Clarivate, in a press release (3). “Leveraging deep industry expertise and comprehensive therapeutic area differentiated data, this year’s Drugs to Watch report identifies innovative medicines based on recent scientific breakthroughs poised to have extraordinary impacts on patient outcomes.”


From their analysis for 2024, the Clarivate experts created a list of 13 late-stage therapies that cover a wide number of conditions, including breast cancer, multiple myeloma, sickle cell disease, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The ‘Drugs to Watch’ for 2024 are:

  • aflibercept (high dose; EYLEA HD)—developed by Bayer and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. for the treatment of we age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular oedema, or diabetic retinopathy
  • budesonide (TARPEYO/Kinpeygo/Nefecon)—developed by Calliditas Therapeutics AB, Everest Medicines and STADA Arzneimittel AG to reduce proteinuria in adults with IgA nephropathy
  • datopotamab deruxtecan (Dato-DXd)—developed by AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo to treat metastatic non-small cell lung cancer or metastatic HR-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer
  • efanesoctocog alfa (ALTUVIIIO/BIVV001)—developed by Sanofi (Bioverativ Therapeutics Inc) and Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB (Sobi) to reduce therapy burden for haemophilia A patients
  • ensifentrine (RPL554)—developed by Verona Pharma to reduce exacerbations in moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease without systemic side effects
  • exagamglogene autotemcel (CASGEVY/exa-cel)—developed by CRISPR Therapeutics and Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. to treat severe sickle cell disease
  • lovotibeglogene autotemcel (Lyfgenia/lovo-cel/formerly LentiGlobin)—developed by CRISPR Therapeutics and Bluebird Bio to treat severe sickle cell disease and transfusion-dependent beta-thalassemia
  • mirikizumab (Omvoh/LY-3074828)—developed by Eli Lilly and Company to treat Crohn’s disease and moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis
  • niraparib + abiraterone acetate (AKEEGA)—developed by Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine to treat deleterious or suspected deleterious BRCA-mutated, metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer
  • RSVpreF (ABRYSVO/PF-06928316)—developed by Pfizer Inc. as a vaccine to prevent lower respiratory tract disease (LRTD) caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
  • RSVpreF3 (AREXVY/GSK-3844766A)—developed by GSK plc as a vaccine to prevent LRTD caused by RSV
  • talquetamab (TALVEY)—developed by Johnson & Johnson Innovative Medicine to treat relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma
  • zolbetuximab (IMAB362)—developed by Astellas Pharma Inc. to treat HER2-negative, CLDN18.2-positive unresectable locally advanced or metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma.

If prior year’s predictions and analyses by Clarivate experts are anything to go by, then 13 might very well be considered lucky in bio/pharma for 2024.


  1. Maranzani, B. What’s So Unlucky About the Number 13? History Channel, 13 Sep. 2013 (Updated 10 Aug. 2021).
  2. Clarivate. Drugs to Watch. Report, 8 Jan. 2024.
  3. Clarivate. Clarivate Identifies Thirteen Potential Blockbuster Drugs and Gamechangers in Annual Drugs to Watch Report. Press Release, 8 Jan. 2024.

About the author

Felicity Thomas is the European/senior editor for Pharmaceutical Technology Group.

Article details

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe
Vol. 36, No. 1
January 2024
Page: 6


When referring to this article, please cite it as Thomas, F. Unlucky for Some. Pharmaceutical Technology Europe 2024 36 (1) 6.