Pharma ‘HTS’ the mark with screening

In May, it was announced that new research into stem cell reprogramming would reduce the need for animal testing; now, we are really beginning to see the benefits of this groundbreaking science.

Huge amounts of money are invested in drug discovery, and a considerable problem for the industry is investing in drugs that might not make it onto the market. Europe has always been perceived as trailing behind the USA in drug discovery within the pharmaceutical industry, but with the biotechnology revolution, they are catching up and becoming a driving force within the global industry.

Pfizer announced recently that they plan to roll out a hit identification and screening file strategy, which will offer a flexible strategy for hit identification while sculpting a more reliable and efficient screening process. High-throughput screening (HTS) has grown rapidly over the past ten years, and Pfizer themselves have noted the huge advances in both detection technology and laboratory automation.

Pfizer believes that both big Pharma and smaller companies can implement HTS. Implementing HTS can remove indecision over which compounds will be profiles: many smaller companies agonize over the costs of conventional profiling, sometimes choosing only 10–20 compounds, but this removes other possibilities before true research begins.

Pfizer, and other members of the Next Generation Pharmaceutical Europe Drug Discovery committee, wish to discuss how to implement large-scale profiling at a lower cost, while maintaining biological, technological, and scientific advancement.

Key to discussions will be representatives from AstraZeneca (Goran Wennberg, VP Discovery Information), Bayer Schering Pharma (Andreas Busch, Head of Global Drug Discovery and Member of the Board), Novartis (Olivier Grenet, Group Head of Genome Biology), GlaxoSmithKline (Tino Rossi, VP of Preclinical Drug Discovery & Enabling Technologies) and Pfizer (John Mathias, Head of High-Throughput Screening) – all determined to place Europe as the drug discovery capital of the world.

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Pharmacology/ Therapeutics  •  Target Identification/ Validation


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