“The Solvay Pharmaceuticals Conferences: where industry meets academia in a search for novel therapies”
The Big Picture of Pharmaceutical Industry is Changing
To capture growth opportunities of the future the pharmaceutical industry must change the way it operates . In a new regulatory and stakeholder environment the current business model is economically unsustainable and incapable to deliver expected output [1,2]. The number of novel medications in the global industry pipeline is insufficient to suffice demand of the markets, the financial performance of several companies is declining, sales and marketing costs are rising, regulatory constraints are increasingly challenging and overall reputation of industry is tarnishing. Unmet medical needs must be better addressed and tangible benefits need to be exposed in order to be rewarded by healthcare payers . In addition, the focus is shifting from simple treatment of the ill to preventive measures and health management. To achieve this fundamental change industry will shift investment again towards scientific approaches, in life sciences and towards (pharmaco)economics, and away from conventional sales and marketing.
A new model may be described as follows: The linear phase development process will be replaced by in-life testing and life licensing, the initial clinical studies will become smaller but will be more focused and the results will be shared with regulators when testing. Safety and efficacy data will be globally shared by regulatory agencies which may lead to one global regulatory system and a larger safety data base. Integrated packages of medicines and services will dominate pharmaceuticals market and soon disease management may create more value than medications themselves. The distribution channels of medicines will be reinforced by enabling technologies allowing for e-dispensing of medicines directly to patients from online pharmacies . Such global challenges require pharmaceutical industry to rethink and adopt the current business model in order to contribute value to the healthcare systems of the future .
To retain key position of chemistry in the future pharmaceutical industry the way chemists work must change. During the last two decades paramount investments in mass screening technologies and in combinatorial chemistry were made, knowledge in synthetic chemistry expanded, computer-assisted drug design matured but output of medicinal chemistry, measured as successful launches of novel medicines, declined indicating that novel technologies are used in old paradigms [1,5].
The challenge is to ensure that new chemistry is driving progress of pharmaceutical industry by means of novel technologies in which system biology approach or target approach is computer simulated, testing is performed in silico on rat or human digital models and synthesis of molecules is restricted to intelligent synthesis of treatments based on simulations. Implementation of these technologies will reduce costs and shorten timelines because only intelligent treatments will be tested in vitro and in vivo and portfolio decisions will be based on in silico tests while pharmacology and toxicology tests on animals will only be performed on candidates selected as intelligent treatments [2,6].
The Ninth Solvay Pharmaceuticals Conference on Medicinal Chemistry held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany) September 26–28, 2007 addressed newest development in synthetic and medicinal chemistry with the emphasis on the challenge of the future. The scientific focus of this conference centered on the involvement of emerging technologies in chemistry on the speed of drug discovery and on the aspects of drug finding including intelligent biology and rational drug design.
W. Cautreels, C. Steinborn, L. Turski
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