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{bio,medical} informatics

Monday, May 22, 2006

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find related articles. powered by google. Genomeweb Genomic Tools Helped Drive 52-Percent Jump in R&D Success at Big Pharma; More Business Likely
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"Genomic technologies have helped to significantly increase the number of drug candidates that enter clinical trials at the world's biggest pharmas, according to a report released last week from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development."

"Though the study did not seek to learn why R&D productivity increased or to address technological tools that might have helped enable it, TCSDD Director Kenneth Kaitin said discussions he has with officials from big pharma indicate that genomic technologies and methodologies have played "an increasingly important role" in driving the improvement. These tools and methods include mass spectrometry, genome sequencing, gene-expression, high-content screening, and SNP-genotyping.

The report also showed that the overall percentage of drugs that reach the clinic and go on to win US Food and Drug Administration approval - 20 percent - hasn't changed much in 30 years. But most of these candidates began life in the clinic before genomic tools were widely used, and big pharma, emboldened by the way these tools lifted their overall R&D productivity, may decide that investing more in new technologies might lead to better data and improved odds with regulators for the next crop of drug candidates."

redux [03.17.04]
find related articles. powered by google. Genomeweb Genomics Hasn't Solved Pharma's Pipeline Problem, But FDA Proposes a Solution
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"A new white paper from the US Food and Drug Administration outlines a new FDA initiative to translate the promise of biotechnology into improved healthcare by driving recent technological advances in early discovery through the later stages of the drug development pipeline.

Despite the rise of genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, and other new technologies, the FDA notes that the number of new drug and biologic applications submitted to the agency has actually declined since 2000, and the number of medical device applications has also decreased. The primary problem, according to the report, is that "the applied sciences needed for medical product development have not kept pace with the tremendous advances in the basic sciences.""

redux [03.19.03]
find related articles. powered by google. BioMedNet Biotechnology: which way now?
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"Which approach is more likely to make a biotechnology company successful: a focus on novel technologies or on development of novel compounds?

Getting into clinical compounds has been portrayed as the route out of tough times like those the biotech industry is suffering through now, according to Mark G. Edwards, founder of Recombinant Capital, a California consulting firm and purveyor of biotech financial databases. But the data show, he says, that there doesn't seem to be any sure route out; companies specializing in compounds have fallen just like those specializing in technology."

redux [04.19.02]
find related articles. powered by google. The New York Times Despite Billions for Discoveries, Pipeline of Drugs Is Far From Full
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"This should be the golden age for pharmaceutical scientists. The deciphering of the human genome is laying bare the blueprint of human life. Medical research has increased understanding of disease. Robots and computers are turning drug discovery from a mixing of chemicals in a test tube to an industrialized, automated process."

"Instead of narrowing the list of compounds that might be useful in drugs, automation has broadened it -- greatly increasing the number of formulas tested without yet delivering commensurate growth in safe and effective drugs."

redux [12.14.01]
find related articles. powered by google. GenomeWeb Big Pharma, On the Ropes, Says it Knows What it Wants from Genomics. But Will That Spur a Turnaround?

"And although the drug industry remains the most profitable worldwide--it generated profits as a percentage of revenues four times the median rate for all Fortune 500 firms during the end of the last decade, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report released that day--an editorial in this month's Nature Biotechnology by David Horrobin, CEO of Laxdale Research, in Stirling, Scotland, had this to say: "With rare exceptions, most of the top 20 multinational pharmaceutical companies are not generating in-house the new products needed to sustain the rates of growth they have enjoyed in the past.

"No serious industry onlooker could dispute this depressing picture," the commentary continues. "Although a few pharmaceutical companies may survive in their present form, most cannot.... A few brave companies are recognizing the obvious: large companies excel at sales and marketing but are hopeless at innovative research.""

redux [05.26.00]
find related articles. powered by google. Biospace Biotech Productivity: Myth or Method?

""The data suggest that the biotechnology industry used to be more productive than Big Pharma, but not any longer," said Rebecca Henderson, a professor at MIT's Sloan School of Management whose been studying the question for six years. "The public biotechs have declining productivity... and look as if they are running into the same problems as Big Pharma."

On every metric that Henderson has studied---number of scientific papers and patents per R&D dollar, cost per new drug--she found that biotech and Pharma productivity were quickly converging, and both were getting worse. After spending six years of studying the question, Henderson says she has found "no systematic evidence that small firms are more productive.""

redux [11.29.01]
find related articles. powered by google. The Scientist A Flood in Genomics
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"Glenn Giovanetti at Ernst & Young Life Sciences Industry Services, comments "You could really compare [today's situation] to a large degree with the first biotech boom in the late eighties and early nineties where the thought was, 'Hey, this is going to lead to better drugs faster,' and clearly that hasn't been the case." Having the genome in hand has brought about more drug targets, but, explains Ma, "People are getting more concerned that novel targets are going to have a higher rate of failures because there is less information on them." And when working in 10-year drug-development cycles, failures are costly.

Ma points to a trend of growth in clinical informatics that would effectively garner more information from expensive clinical trials instead of simply treating them as regulatory hurdles. "People are beginning to think through to how ... to take greater advantage of that information," he adds. But increasingly, the suppliers of genomic information have been looking to do the same thing.

[ rhetoric ]

Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.


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