Are drug developers over-relying on genomics?

Over the past few decades, the harsh realities of complex biology have brought back to Earth some pie-in-the-sky projections about the value of genomics in biotech R&D. But the industry still devotes the vast majority of research spending to target-based drug development, an imbalance that could be a factor in Big Pharma's slumping efficiency rates. Delving into the issue, The New York Times Magazine talks to scientists, analysts and regulators who point out that while genomics-based R&D has led to major breakthroughs, most of its poster children are finely targeted therapies catered to small numbers of patients, not broadly useful solutions for big diseases. And the allure, financial and otherwise, of such treatments has relegated old-fashioned drug discovery to the back seat, a trend that has alarmed many in the industry. "We still have big public health needs," the FDA's John Jenkins told the Times. "We're hoping companies don't lose track of the broader diseases, like diabetes, as they pursue genomic science and targeted therapies." More

Suggested Articles

Fifteen of the 22 patients in a gene therapy trial no longer needed transfusions, while the remainder needed fewer transfusions.

Argos Therapeutics is ending its kidney cancer trial and mulling options, including a merger or sale, to stay alive.

CNS Pharma says berubicin is the first anthracycline drug to cross the blood-brain barrier and could transform treatment of the highly invasive brain tumor.