US contract research organizations are multiplying to meet drug-makers' outsourcing needs.
US drug-makers are outsourcing more and more of their research and development, mainly to contract research organizations, according to figures released in July by the US National Science Foundation (NSF). The shift could be good news for researchers seeking positions in industry. In 1991, pharmaceutical companies spent about US$800 million on external research and development, but that skyrocketed to $13 billion in 2011, says John Jankowski, head of research and development statistics at the NSF. That growth outstrips that of any other sector. In 1991, industrial extramural research spending totalled $3.3 billion, but by 2011, spending had risen to $25.3 billion for domestic companies alone. Pharmaceutical firms' share of that total was 23% in 1991, but ballooned to 51% by 2011. Jankowski says that much of the increase comes from the outsourcing of clinical trials. The number of US contract research organizations has risen to match the demand, from around 800 in 2000 to more than 3,100 by the end of 2011, according to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development in Boston, Massachusetts. - Nature 512, 106, 06 August 2014
In this month’s Windback Wednesday series, we’re all about entrepreneurship: what it takes to be one, how to become one and more. But if you’re based in London, it’s not so easy. Although it’s got the brains and research centres to make it a hub, setting up shop in London is the tricky part. In this podcast, I speak to Kit Malthouse, the Deputy Mayor of London for Business and Enterprise, and find out how London is preparing to become the next biotech hub. (...) by Julie Gould, Nature, 23 April 2014
Y Combinator has high hopes for low-cost biotech innovation.
Y Combinator, a company that backs technology start-ups, is famous for its early support of successful online services such as Airbnb and Dropbox. It historically has invested a few thousand dollars into web-based businesses that require only small grants to get up and running at their earliest stages. But the programme is now expanding its reach to back biotechnology start-ups, says company president Sam Altman. (...) - by Richard Van Noorden, Nature, 23 April 2014
Ses médicaments les plus profitables déjà ou sur le point de tomber dans le domaine public, le groupe français mise principalement sur 7 nouvelles plateformes de croissance et notamment sur les vaccins, la santé animale et les partenariats de recherche. (...) - par Maxime Michallet, Santé Publique & Santé Privée, 22 mars 2014
Target-identification and mechanism-of-action studies have important roles in small-molecule probe and drug discovery. Biological and technological advances have resulted in the increasing use of cell-based assays to discover new biologically active small molecules. Such studies allow small-molecule action to be tested in a more disease-relevant setting at the outset, but they require follow-up studies to determine the precise protein target or targets responsible for the observed phenotype. Target identification can be approached by direct biochemical methods, genetic interactions or computational inference. In many cases, however, combinations of approaches may be required to fully characterize on-target and off-target effects and to understand mechanisms of small-molecule action. (...) - by Schenone Met al., Nature Chemical Biology9,232–240(2013)
European agency will publish firms’ clinical-trial results.
International calls for the pharmaceutical industry to share the results of clinical trials have grown ever more intense amid revelations that high-profile companies have hidden crucial data on safety and efficacy. Now Europe is moving towards measures that would significantly increase disclosure of such data. (...) - by Daniel Cressey, Nature, 27 March 2013
La chute de l’emploi dans le secteur pharmaceutique n’est pas inexorable, estiment les industriels. Chiffres à l’appui, ils ont dégagé les leviers à actionner pour limiter la casse sociale. (...) - Par Gaëlle Fleitour, L'Usine Nouvelle, 23 janvier 2013
File this under ‘sad irony.’ Now that the pharmaceutical industry has tossed thousands of people overboard during the last decade – an estimated 150,000 or so just since 2009 – a slight majority of drugmakers complain that it has become increasingly difficult to find the right talent and most worry they will not have access to the people they need to hire, according to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers. (...) - By Ed Silverman, Pharmalot, February 5th, 2013
Most biotech pros will shrug, or chuckle, if you ask whether crowdfunding will transform life sciences financing in the U.S.
This, after all, is an industry where you often need to raise at least $50 million or $100 million to even have a chance at developing a new drug or medical device. Scraping together a few thousand bucks from individuals on the Internet isn’t going to go very far. One venture capitalist recently told me, “there are a lot of things I worry about, but crowdfunding isn’t one of them.” (...) - By Luke Timmerman, Xconomy, 1/28/2013
ST. LOUIS — In their quest for the next big drug discovery, pharmaceutical companies are increasingly teaming up with some of the nation's top universities, recruiting campus scientists as partners and offering schools multimillion-dollar deals to work on experimental drugs in development. (...) - by Alan Scher Zagierof The Associated Press, News-Sentinel, January 14, 2013
Public markets provide cash injection for struggling field.
Robert Forrester gets a little giddy when he talks about the day his company went public. The otherwise understated chief operating officer of Verastem, a small biotechnology company developing drugs to target cancer stem cells, chuckles and bounces in his chair as he recounts key strategic decisions along the way to the company’s initial public offering (IPO) on 26 January, which raised US$55 million. (...) - by Heidi Ledford, Nature, 14 November 2012
To save millions of dollars and dramatically improve reproducibility, protein-binding reagents must be defined by their sequences and produced as recombinant proteins, say Andrew Bradbury, Andreas Plückthun and 110 co-signatories. (...) - Nature, by Andrew Bradbury & Andreas Plückthun, 04 February 2015
Julien Hering, PhD's insight:
#reproducibility offer the possibility in #research to save a lots of money and time. It's a part of #openresearch that let academic and R&D researchers to collaborate more openly and avoid reproduce negative results, share protocols, #opendata, #openaccess... Here a case in Biotech
Firms fight for the right to patent natural products and processes.
Guidelines that forbid patents on a wide array of natural products, phenomena and principles have many in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries worried about the future of their business. (...) - by Erika Check-Hayden, Nature, 08 July 2014
In this interview, I speak to Dr. Rob Carlson, a Principal at Biodesic, an engineering and strategic consulting firm in Seattle that provides services to governments and corporations around the globe. At the broadest level, Dr. Carlson is interested in the future role of biology as a human technology. He is the author of the book Biology is Technology: The Promise, Peril, and New Business of Engineering Life, published in 2010 by Harvard University Press; it received the PROSE award for the Best Engineering and Technology Book of 2010 and was named to the Best Books of 2010 lists by writers at both The Economist and ForeignPolicy.com. Carlson is a frequent international speaker and has served as an advisor to such diverse organisations as The Hastings Center, the PICNIC Design Festival, the UN, the OECD, the US Government, and companies ranging in size from start-ups to members of the Fortune 100. Carlson earned a doctorate in Physics from Princeton University in 1997. (...) - by Julie Gould, Nature Jobs Blog, 18 April 2014
Agency will offer I-Corps entrepreneurship boot camps.
Last fall, microbial ecologist Kei Fujimura took time away from her lab work to hunt down people with inflammatory bowel disease on Facebook. The postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), was doing a bit of market research, in hopes of starting a company that would offer people with Crohn’s disease and colitis personalized microbiome sequencing data that could help them manage their conditions. She and a fellow postdoc “thought we had a pretty good shot” at commercializing the idea, she says. (...) - by Kelly Servick, Science, 24 April 2014
En croissance grâce à ses exportations, l’industrie du médicament voit son marché français chuter. Et se dit victime des plans d’économies pour la sécurité sociale et de multiples taxes. Alors même qu’un député veut lui en imposer une nouvelle, pour la recherche dans le cancer des enfants… (...) - L'Usine Nouvelle, 14/06/2013
Which company takes the title? It may come as no surprise that pharma giant Pfizer claims the lead spot, however the sequence that follows shows interesting trends. In this article I’ll share bioscience companies with ideal digital presence and touch on available apps to score yours. The performance indictor was the Bio Web Score Absolute, a free tool measuring the digital presence of life science businesses. (...) - Biowebspin Public Place, by Sara Ahmadi, 26/04/2013
Le groupe pharmaceutique allemand Grünenthal et Ethypharm, société française spécialisée dans les technologies de formulation innovantes, ont conclut un accord de licence, de distribution et d’approvisionnement exclusif. Cet accord permet à la société de commercialiser les comprimés sublinguaux à base de fentanyl d’Ethypharm pour le traitement des accès de douleur dus au cancer sur des marchés européens sélectionnés. (...) MyPharma Editions, 06/03/2013
Proponents hope consortium will revive flagging industry.
Two sites shuttered by the pharmaceutical giant Merck, one in Scotland and one in the Netherlands, will soon be humming again with the work of drug discovery. But the hum will not be business as usual. It will be the sound of a public–private consortium placing a high-stakes wager: a nearly €200-million (US$271-million) bet that it can boost a languishing pharmaceutical sector by fusing academic innovation with industrial-scale screening, using robots to test chemicals for biological activity. (...) - by Monya Baker, Nature, 07 February 2013
Spécialiste de la biosimulation pour la recherche pharmaceutique, Rhenovia Pharma, basé à Mulhouse et implanté aux Etats-Unis depuis un an, vient de breveter un patch électronique pour l'administration contrôlée de médicaments. (...) - Les Echos, par CHRISTIAN LIENHARDT| 23/01/2013
Genfit, société biopharmaceutique spécialisée dans le traitement des maladies cardiométaboliques et des désordres associés, a annoncé lundi avoir démontré l’activité de plusieurs séries chimiques sélectionnées dans le cadre de la seconde approche de son programme de recherche avec le groupe pharmaceutique Sanofi. (...) - MyPharma Editions, 22/01/2013
In February of 2011, Pfizer announced the closing of its R&D center in Sandwich, Kent, United Kingdom. That center of excellence was a core part of the company’s drug development program. It employed 2,400 people, covered 80 acres and became known as the “the home of Viagra.” While Viagra was home grown and not venture backed, the closure of the Pfizer campus signaled a paradigm shift migrating big pharma, in-house R&D to satellite / outsourced drug discovery. Many of these companies are virtual and have a lean management, contractors doing much of the work and VCs playing a critical role forming and managing these companies. R&D spending for the pharmaceutical industry fell to $61bn in 2011, down from $68bn in 2010, down again from $70bn in 2009 and 2008 annually (...) - by Andrew Romans, The Founders Club, 19 December 2012
Corporate venture funds are playing an increasingly important role in supporting life science commercialization.
Corporate venturing—the practice of establishing a unit of a corporation with the mandate to make strategic investments in entrepreneurial ventures—has emerged as one of the most prominent strategies for opening up innovation to external ideas and knowledge in the life sciences. Venture arms of pharmaceutical and large biotech companies leverage capital surplus generated through traditional revenue streams to create options for future product pipelines, enable access to innovative compounds and share the costs of risky early stage development with external partners. (...) - von Krogh Get al., Nature Biotechnology 30, 911–915 (2012)
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