The Current issue of “The view from here” discusses Industry/Academic models

The topic of this month’s newsletter from Drug Discovery Today is Industry/Academic models.

This month’s newsletter deals with novel models for funding the Pharma discovery machine and approaches for ensuring that the pipelines required to drive future progress continue to be filled. In particular the articles reveal how, over the last few years, the Pharma industry has moved from a position in which the bulk of the approaches filling the company pipelines where from internal efforts to one where external efforts have become more and more prominent in the discovery portfolio of companies. The articles also look at how external innovation models can be incorporated into a modern discovery effort. 

The free downloads available in this newsletter highlight some of the most recent concepts in industrial and academic models in drug discovery.

The first article, by Jörg Bentzien, Ragu Bharadwaj and David C. Thompson of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals and Appirio  entitled: “Crowdsourcing in pharma: a strategic framework” and they present a comprehensive overview of the use of crowdsourcing approaches in the pharmaceutical industry arranged within a strategic framework.. 

The second article, from Liangsu Wang, Andrew Plump and Michael Ringel of Merck Research Laboratories, Sanofi and   the Boston Consulting group entitled: “Racing to define pharmaceutical R&D external innovation models” outlines the challenges facing the Pharmaceutical Industry with respect to R &D productivity and rising customer expectations. The need to reduce R&D budget while maintaining innovative and productive drug portfolios necessitates active and significant collaboration with academia. Levering innovation at the precompetitive level and facilitating the development of start ups and licensing innovative programmes will also be a significant tactic to do this. They review such innovation strategies and identify the trends in external innovation.  

Finally, is the review from Allan M. Jordan, Ian D. Waddell and Donald J. Ogilvie of Drug Discovery Unit, Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, University of Manchester, entitled, “Rethinking ‘academic’ drug discovery: the Manchester Institute perspective”.  The authors discuss how the decline in research within Pharma has been met by a concomitant increase in discovery within the academic sphere. They point out that many academic drug discovery units are growing organically and others are benefiting by incorporation of highly-trained and experienced drug discovery professionals, recruited from the contacting pharma R&D departments. This article outlines the authors experiences in developing such a group, the lessons learned and the benefits of the approach.


Steve Carney was born in Liverpool, England and studied Biochemistry at Liverpool University, obtaining a BSc.(Hons) and then read for a PhD on the Biochemistry and Pathology of Connective Tissue Diseases in Manchester University, in the Departments of Medical Biochemistry and Histopathology. On completion of his PhD he moved to the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, London, where he worked with Professor Helen Muir FRS and Professor Tim Hardingham, on the biochemistry of experimental Osteoarthritis. He joined Eli Lilly and Co. and held a number of positions in Biology R&D, initially in the Connective Tissue Department, but latterly in the Neuroscience Department. He left Lilly to take up his present position as Managing Editor, Drug Discovery Today, at Elsevier. Currently, he also holds an honorary lectureship in Drug Discovery at the University of Surrey, UK. He has authored over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals, written several book chapters and has held a number of patents. 

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