Review of FDA’s 2021 Drug Approvals – Small Molecules Dominate


The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) approved 50 new drugs and biological products in 2021 (not including the vaccines, cellular and gene therapy products, or other products approved in 2021 by the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research).  As in past years, small molecule drug approvals dominated the list.

Of the 50 approved new drugs and biological products, 33 were small molecule drugs and 17 were monoclonal antibodies and other big molecules drugs.  A new ADC (antibody drug conjugate) was approved, Tivdak®, and a bispecific antibody was also approved, Rybrevant®. Notably, a small interfering RNA drug was approved, Leqvio®, for the treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.

As small and big molecule drugs enter the clinic, Goodwin’s patent attorneys focus on securing not only composition of matter patent protection, but additional patent protection derived from clinical data. Learn more about additional patent protection secured from the clinic in Goodwin’s Patent Savvy Executive video.

Each new drug and biological product can be found in the FDA’s Orange Book or the FDA’s Purple Book. To learn more about the Orange Book and how to determine patent terms on approved drugs, visit Goodwin’s Patent Savvy Executive video.

See the full list here.