The Current issue of “The view from here” is concerned with Cancer

The topic of this month’s newsletter from Drug Discovery Today is “Cancer”.

The subject of this month’s newsletter is “Cancer” and I’ve tried to give a feeling first of how novel strategies can lead to innovating therapies, but then to temper this with how such sterling development approaches can be hamstrung to a degree by political pressures, pricing and licensing. Having breakthrough drugs can only be heralded as a success if they can be administered widely to patients.  

The first article, “Pharmaceutical strategies in the emerging era of antibody-based biotherapeutics for the treatment of cancers overexpressing MET receptor tyrosine kinase” by Hang-Ping Yao, Xiang-Min Tong and Ming-Hai Wang outlines how pharmaceutical innovation in the development and production of novel antibody-based therapies with massive improvements in potency can truly make MET-targeted cancer therapy a clinical reality and not a pipedream.
Following on from this therapeutic approach, David Taylor of UCL has a more political stance in his article “The political economics of cancer drug discovery and pricing”. He states that in highly politicised and regulated markets, the development of new cancer drugs is in danger of being underestimated. This is as a result of overlooking the extension of life and the reduction of illness-related distress and associated disability by the funding bodies. He states that the overarching goal of pharmaceutical price regulation should be to help to assure universal access to continuously improving treatments.
The final article in this month’s offering is from Eva Sharpe, Richard Hoey, Christina Yap and Paul Workman of The Institute of Cancer Research, Old Brompton Road, London, SW7 3RP, UK, entitled “From patent to patient: analysing access to innovative cancer drugs”. In common with the previous article, this manuscript deals with access to innovative medicines.  They highlighted from their analysis that, in the UK, the most innovative drugs were not being prioritized for EMA licensing and NICE approval.
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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