The Medtech Accelerator, a new company set up to provide proof of concept financial awards to support development of medical technology and software innovations originating primarily from within the NHS, today announced the first round of successful projects.
Modern drug discovery approaches take too long, are too expensive, have too many clinical failures and uncertain outcomes. There are many reasons for this unsustainable business model, but primarily, the approaches are not comprehensively holistic.
Meeting global health challenges, from cancer to viral infections, requires a profound understanding of living processes – not just at the level of cells but right down at the molecular level. And designing the most efficient therapeutics requires an in-depth understanding of the disease.
The UK, Europe and the United States are world leaders in research and innovation, with their researchers making vast contributions to global knowledge. They have world-leading universities, research institutes and scientific enterprises, supported by a public and private sector that has continued to invest in technology and innovation, despite the global economic downturn.
In order to maintain a flow of innovative medicines there is a growing realisation that companies cannot allow the status quo to remain as it is and the need to identify sources of appropriate knowledge and expertise outside of their own organisations is paramount. This article discusses some of the challenges in arranging collaborative arrangements with each other and academia.
The discovery and development of a new medicine is time-consuming, risky and expensive. It often takes 10-15 years and an investment of on average >$1 billion for a compound to navigate its way along the drug discovery and development process – and only 8% of drug candidates entering clinical development make it to market and benefiting the patient2.
The drug development industry is restructuring worldwide. This brings different ways of working and new challenges. As the industry moves away from internally focused research to an external model, project management and communication of science will often be more critical than outstanding science. There is a real danger the key skills will be lost across the world not least in the translation of potential drugs into early clinical trials.
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) have been around as one of the primary methods of analyte detection for more than four decades. Over the years many changes to the basic format have resulted in assay improvements, but some of the most recent look set to take the traditional ELISA to new levels.
As the third-largest market for the pharmaceutical industry, the China/Asia region is becoming increasingly important. The AstraZeneca Innovation Center China (ICC) in Shanghai is perfectly positioned to benefit from close proximity to key opinion leaders, patients and hospitals, as it seeks to find solutions to diseases of high prevalence in Asia. The ICC has built on its wealth of scientific knowledge by establishing an extensive network of collaborations complementing this core expertise by developing long-standing relationships with external researchers in the field to benefit translational science and drug discovery, allowing new medicines to be developed faster.
Innovation is a key word throughout the pharmaceutical industry and the healthcare community1 and its pursuit is a business imperative for Pharma.
A leading ballet conductor1 recently told me of courses which he runs for senior business leaders. He allows them to conduct an orchestra: first, very strictly, with close direction applied to each instrument; he then shows them how to conduct the same score but harnessing the artistic talent of each group of players, encouraging active listening to each other and then adding a conductor's overall interpretation. This model of active collaboration between multi-skilled players on a managed platform provides a fascinating and revealing insight that has great relevance in the life sciences, particularly in today's world of change.
Universities and federally funded laboratories create thousands of new discoveries every year, the vast majority of which never see the light of day. We discuss various ways to harness those discoveries and potentially invigorate product pipelines.
Technology has been a major driver of advances in drug discovery. Automation, nanofluidics, imaging, software and assay technologies have played a major role in getting better data, faster. Is drug discovery at such an advanced state that further improvements are no longer needed or cost-effective? There are different opinions on this and much of the evidence is anecdotal, but technology innovation is critical to the improvement of the drug discovery process and worth discussing.
Open innovation is the hot topic in many industries and this approach has the potential to make a radical difference to the costs of drug discovery and development in the pharmaceutical industry. But there are also barriers to the industry fully embracing this new way of working and adding it to other models for externalisation.
Medicinal chemistry is a specialised science that has evolved to encompass a broad range of disciplines concerned with the identification, synthesis and development of drug-like compounds for therapeutic use. It needs a wide range of expertise, developed through years of training, dedication and learning from best practices in order to produce drugs that are good enough to enter clinical trials in patients.
Every year, vaccines save millions of lives by preventing major human diseases, protecting individuals and those close to them, and offering widespread public defence against disease.
Large pharmaceutical companies are moving quickly to outsource their drug discovery operations, predominantly to lower costs. This article argues that if outsourcing is done to capture value, ie developing and preserving intellectual property as a key competitive differentiation as well as increasing productivity, then costs will fall in line accordingly.