Assembling the pieces

Getting pharmaceutical R&D back on target

Journal name:
Nature Chemical Biology
Volume:
7,
Pages:
335–339
Year published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/nchembio.581
Published online

The pharmaceutical industry is in a period of crisis due to the low number of new drug approvals relative to the high levels of R&D investment. It is argued here that improving the quality of target selection is the single most important factor to transform industry productivity and bring innovative new medicines to patients.

At a glance

Figures

  1. Large pharma productivity from 2005-2010.
    Figure 1: Large pharma productivity from 2005–2010.

    Combined FDA-approved NMEs versus R&D spending for nine large pharmaceutical companies (AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche and Sanofi-Aventis). Figures shown are in millions of US dollars. Source: FDA CDER; Bernstein1. NME includes biologicals and vaccines.

  2. NME success rate by phase.
    Figure 2: NME success rate by phase.

    Combined R&D survival by development phase for 14 large pharmaceutical companies (Abbott, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis and Schering-Plough). Data from the Pharmaceutical Benchmarking Forum (http://kmrgroup.com/ForumsPharma.html). Approval data is based on approval of NME by a regulatory authority in a major market (EU, US or Japan).

  3. Chemical biology in target validation.
    Figure 3: Chemical biology in target validation.

    Activity-based proteomic profiling (ABPP) to establish the active proteome of a target family in physiologically-relevant systems such as whole cells. ABPP of 'healthy' and 'disease' cells can help determine the active proteins relevant to the healthy/disease phenotype. ABPP can also be used to explore target selectivity of small-molecule inhibitors (shown in blue circles) in the whole-cell setting.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Mark Bunnage is head of medicinal chemistry at Pfizer Laboratories, Sandwich, UK.

    • Mark E Bunnage

Competing financial interests

The author is an employee of Pfizer.

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