Pharma Technology Focus – Issue 7

Finding new cures: This month we look at trends and progress in drug discovery and development.


Shifts in the market and cuts to research budgets are pushing the pharma industry into a new era of drug development. At the same time, advancements in technology are opening up the door for the discovery of groundbreaking new treatments and medicines.
In this issue we investigate how these trends will shape the future of drug development. In a bit to carry on with essential R&D work while keeping costs low, pharma companies increasingly seek research collaborations with academic institutions. We profile such pairings and find out where the challenges lie.


We also investigate how big pharma prepares to tackle the patent expiry cliff, explore how scientists use bioinformatics to devise new drug discovery processes, and find out if virus-like particles could be the key to a cheaper and quicker mass production of vaccines.


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Putting faith in partnerships

With research budgets being tightened across the board, research partnerships are becoming increasingly popular. We find out how pharmaceutical companies are throwing their weight behind academic research, and explore the complex ethical terrain of these public-private partnerships.
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Fall of the Blockbusters

Twenty blockbuster drugs are set to go off patent within the next few years, pushing big pharma into a new era of R&D and business strategies. We discover how major companies are planning to handle the patent cliff to stay ahead of competition from the emerging generics market.
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Turning Data into Drugs

Rapid developments in genomic and molecular research have driven huge interest in bioinformatics. We investigate how scientists are using IT to devise new pathways and discovery processes in the search for groundbreaking drug treatments.
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A Global Cure-All?

Can a new cholesterol polypill open the door to a global mass preventative for cardiovascular diseases? Gilbert Thompson, emeritus professor of clinical lipidology at Imperial College, London, unveils the potential of a new wonder pill.
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Vaccines of Tomorrow

Virus-like particles represent one of the most exciting new technologies to rapidly produce vaccines. Industry experts speak to us about this cheaper and quicker way to generate effective vaccines with long-lasting protection.
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A New Era of Drug Safety

The introduction of a new law on pharmacovigilance is set to revolutionise European drug safety in years to come. We speak to Heiko Martin of Grünenthal about the implications for marketing authorisation holders, the industry in general, and the patients.
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Next Issue: Logistics & Supply Chain

No pharmaceutical company can operate without a network of suppliers and partners looking after different parts of the supply chain. Next month we find out how the industry can keep up a steady flow of supplies while fixing weak links in the chain and keeping costs low.

We also investigate the challenges of building distribution networks in remote countries, such as transporting temperature-sensitive drugs and setting up local distribution networks, which require localised and often ingenious solutions.

Compiling a sourcing strategy for a clinical trial or a comparator study can be difficult. We find out how companies can mitigate against risks to ensure a trial is never stalled.

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