Tufts: R&D efficiency found in translation

Translational science tops the list of strategies that can help drug developers achieve highly prized improvements in R&D productivity. Efforts to pinpoint disease targets for new molecules should be given top priority.

Additional priorities are partnering and portfolio management, says Kenneth Kaitin, director at the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, in the center's 2011 Outlook report. He notes that one tactic drug developers will be using in the coming year is to limit the number of countries hosting clinical studies. Cutting down on logistical and regulatory complexity should boost efficiency.

Clinical trial complexity has been straining not only drug sponsors, but also software providers attempting to meet the needs of researchers. Kaitin's CSDD colleague Ken Getz estimated last May a more than 50 percent rise in the effort required to complete clinical trial procedures, comparing the early and mid-2000s.

Getz told us then that use of automation tools to help researchers cope with complexity is an "emerging area" with no type of tool being used extensively.

- here's the Tufts release