Deloitte sees 'fundamental shift' in drug dev. strategies

Deloitte sees a major shakeup going on in clinical research strategies at the large pharma companies. Instead of focusing on the development of a small portfolio of blockbuster meds, pharma pipelines are shifting to create a host of new therapies that will have higher efficacy in smaller groups--the genotype-basing approach that's been so much discussed in biotechnology. By targeting smaller populations with promises of greater efficacy, says the accounting firm, the pharma industry can still rely on bigger per-treatment revenues.

The shakeup in R&D strategies is coming after the industry marks only mixed results from outsourcing and other efforts aimed at improving efficiency. And it marks a period of high stress for the companies, as they transition from blockbusters to targeted meds. A "fundamental shift in the industry's operating environment is under way."

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