Drug discovery in the next decade:innovation needed ASAP

Stephen Carney

The pharmaceutical sector, a cornerstone of the healthcare industry, is undergoing dramaticchange, primarily caused by reduced output of new medicines from research and development(R&D) laboratories, drug pricing pressures, stricter regulatory environments and the overallcurrent economic downturn. This makes demands of all pharmaceutical companies to find better ways to increase their output of new drugs, through innovation, to both treat patients and meet their shareholders’ expectations.

Pharmaceutical companies must find a better way to increase their output of truly new drugs for the benefit of patients and for their business survival. Here, I highlight a general perspective from within pharmaceutical research as it pertains to research advances in chemistry, biology, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and toxicology that, if well integrated,stands to put the industry on a productive path. In addition, I provide a complementary perspective on the corporate culture aspect of innovation. I also introduce a new concept, termed ‘innovation ASAP’ (iASAP; asking powerful questions, seeking the outliers, accepting defeat and populating astutely) and provide support for it using examples of several successful drugs.


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