The current paradigm of modern healthcare focuses on patient symptoms, subsequent diagnosis and corresponding treatment of the specific disease(s). Escalating healthcare costs and a trial and error approach to diagnosing and treating disease have fermented a rethink in how we carry out such practices.
With a tarnished reputation and a lack of sustainable innovation this article argues that, maybe, it is time for the pharmaceutical industry to look more closely at balancing the commercial needs of their organisations with the requirement to create the correct culture and environment for human innovation and creativity.
Microfluidics platforms that harness picodroplet technology (picolitre volume aqueous droplets in stabilised oil emulsions) are unlocking the potential of single cell analysis to enable exciting new discoveries and advances with the potential to transform scientific research, drug development and precision medicine.
Mass spectrometry (MS) has long been a valuable tool for drug discovery, and steady advances in its capabilities and performance have generated powerful insights for the pharmaceutical industry. The latest mass spectrometry innovations are now helping biotherapeutics developers overcome challenges around sample preparation and large molecule analysis.
Drug discovery is undergoing a transformation powered by advances that magnitude more molecules and enable smarter selection of compounds.
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.
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 patient (2).
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.
Innovation is a key word throughout the pharmaceutical industry and the healthcare community and its pursuit is a business imperative for Pharma.
A leading ballet conductor (1) 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.
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.
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.