Fast Pharma Strikes Again

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeEarlier this week I read a great article on Reuters about how pharma companies are looking to the automobile industry for innovation by transferring some of the lean methodologies learned in car manufacturing to pharmaceuticals. As a pharmaceutical journalist, I read a lot of news stories and articles about innovative new products, R&D projects and partnerships, and sometimes it’s too easy to let your eyes gloss over these as everyday business. Earlier this year though, the partnership between GlaxoSmithKline the McLaren Group really grabbed my attention. Pharma… and a racing-car maker? That’s definitely not an everyday occurrence. Or is it? Read more »

New Hope for Neglected Diseases

Erik Greb PharmTech editorIt’s getting harder for the pharmaceutical industry to ignore neglected diseases. The globalization of national economies and the rise in air travel are increasing the potential for exposure to these diseases, which previously had been limited to the developing world. “Now is the time to have this discussion,” Kishor M. Wasan, chair-elect of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists’s Pharmaceuticals in Global Health Focus Group, told Pharmaceutical Technology earlier this month. Industry now seems to be getting the message. Read more »

Changing Times for Pharma Chemical Outsourcing

Patricia Van Arnum PharmTech editor The Pharma ChemOutsourcing conference, an annual event that brings together pharmaceutical companies, CROs, and CMOs to discuss industry trends and perspectives, was held in Long Branch, New Jersey, last week. The central question at the heart of many of the discussions was a fundamental but important one: where is the opportunity in pharmaceutical outsourcing, specifically in pharmaceutical chemical development and manufacturing? Read more »

A Call for Clarity about Vaccines

Erik Greb PharmTech editorAs I wrote last week, the market for vaccines is expanding, and the newswires have stories about these products almost daily. Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, to name just two major players, are increasing investments in research and manufacturing capacity for these therapies. Kalorama Information predicts that sales of pediatric vaccines will grow even more quickly than sales for adult vaccines. Yet drugmakers have surely noticed that not all publicity about vaccines has been positive. Read more »

Of Crocuses and Cancer

Stephanie Sutton Pharm Tech EuropeEvery now and then, media headlines become excited by a new potential ‘cure’ for cancer. Usually, this excitement stems from the results of very early research, which often involves a vegetable. Tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and beetroot have all had their turn in the spotlight over the years. Read more »

Roche Takes a Step Forward with Personalized Medicine

Patricia Van Arnum PharmTech editor Roche took a step forward in personalized medicine with the approval earlier this month of a new drug and related diagnostic to treat certain forms of metastatic melanoma. Roche’s strategy of developing drugs and related diagnostics shows the potential business and therapeutic value of personalized medicines. Read more »

An Upward Trajectory for New Drug Approvals

Patricia Van Arnum PharmTech editor Good news on the drug-approval front. Through the end of July, FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research had approved 21 new drugs (new molecular entities and new biologics license applications), which equals the total number of new drugs approved in all of 2010. Although not enough to claim a reversal of the recent downward trend in drug R&D productivity, the numbers are a good sign for the industry. Read more »

Woodcock Cites a “Turning Point” in Drug Development

Erik Greb PharmTech editor

Some drugmakers have blamed what they see as a slow and overly cautious FDA for the industry’s weak pipelines. Last week, I cited drug-approval figures to show that the agency was not standing in the way of innovation. A closer look at the figures contradicts another part of the critics’ argument—the industry’s pipelines may not be so weak after all. Read more »

Is Biotech Following in Big Pharma’s Footsteps?

Erik Greb PharmTech editorBiologics are still the hot commodity in the drug industry. Observers call large-molecule drugs the therapies of the future, and these medicines’ complexity makes them difficult for would-be follow-on manufacturers to create. Big Pharma companies that have not yet acquired biopharmaceuticals firms are considering doing so to bolster their pipelines and profits. But not all biologics companies are living large, as data from Ernst & Young remind us. Read more »

Is Big Pharma Stifling Innovation?

Erik Greb PharmTech editorBig Pharma has offered many explanations for its anemic pipelines. All of the easy drugs have been discovered. Patent law (or another particular form of regulation) stifles innovation. The economy is forcing us to retrench. Although these explanations may be plausible, they all lay the blame elsewhere. Could Big Pharma’s own actions be discouraging research and development (R&D)? Read more »

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