Improving Biopharma R&D

A recent blog post by Matthew Herper asks whether pharmaceutical R&D could be improving, and seems to echo findings of this study by suggesting the pharmaceutical industry may be focusing its efforts on areas of unmet medical need.

“Companies may be less likely to develop me-too medicines — which could be masking a resurgence in R&D on tougher projects. It’s at least possible — and would be a truly welcome sign,” writes Herper.

A study published in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery last month suggests that a decline in biopharma R&D productivity is associated with an increasing concentration of R&D investments in areas in which the risk of failure is high, which correspond to unmet therapeutic needs and unexploited biological mechanisms.”

AstraZeneca is committed to a business model that is driven by investment in innovative, prescription-based biopharmaceutical R&D. So, as you can imagine, R&D productivity is an issue we are tackling head on.

Our R&D President Martin Mackay recently told The Pink Sheet, “Today’s environment is unique and requires unique solutions, based on novel insights and stakeholder interaction.” Mackay described some of these solutions in these remarks at the company’s full-year 2010 earnings announcement.

As The Pink Sheet’s Melanie Senior summarized, “AstraZeneca’s structural overhaul of R&D isn’t designed as a quick fix; rather, it’s a long-term realignment of strategy and priorities. The impact of the new-look R&D spreads well beyond discovery and development into business development and commercial – including, especially, into market access and payer-focused roles.”

-By Laura Woodin