Pharmaceutical research and development is facing substantial challenges that have prompted the industry to shift funding from early- to late-stage projects. Among the effects is a major change in the attitude of many companies to their internal bioinformatics resources: the focus has moved from the vigorous pursuit of intellectual property towards exploration of pre-competitive cross-industry collaborations and engagement with the public domain. High-quality, open and accessible data are the foundation of pre-competitive research, and strong public–private partnerships have considerable potential to enhance public data resources, which would benefit everyone engaged in drug discovery. In this article, we discuss the background to these changes and propose new areas of collaboration in computational biology and chemistry between the public domain and the pharmaceutical industry.
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We thank members of the computational biology and computational chemistry and informatics groups within our companies. We also acknowledge partners at the EBI Industry forum for discussions that have contributed to our review of this area. We are grateful to Arricka Brouwer and the reviewers for suggestions as to how to improve the manuscript.
M.R.B., S.M.F. and M.D.H. are employees of GlaxoSmithKline. L.H., C.B. and B.W.J. are employees of Pfizer. S.T. and I.D. are employees of AstraZeneca.
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Barnes, M., Harland, L., Foord, S. et al. Lowering industry firewalls: pre-competitive informatics initiatives in drug discovery. Nat Rev Drug Discov 8, 701–708 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrd2944
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