Getting pharmaceutical R&D back on target

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.

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Figure 1: Large pharma productivity from 2005–2010.
Figure 2: NME success rate by phase.
Figure 3: Chemical biology in target validation.

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Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank A. Goldsmith, S. Wang, S. Ward and E. Floyd for generating the productivity data shown in Figure 1, as well as the many other colleagues who have also provided input and challenge to the arguments herein.

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Correspondence to Mark E Bunnage.

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The author is an employee of Pfizer.

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Bunnage, M. Getting pharmaceutical R&D back on target. Nat Chem Biol 7, 335–339 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/nchembio.581

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