Big Pharmas unite to improve clinical development

Ten of the biggest names in drug development are joining forces to speed up new drug creation, and the resulting nonprofit aims to work with CROs to tackle some of the most vexing troubles in pharmaceutical R&D.

TransCelerate BioPharma is the moniker for the collaboration, which joins Abbott Laboratories ($ABT), AstraZeneca ($AZN), Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY), Eli Lilly ($LLY), GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ), Pfizer ($PFE), Roche's ($RHHBY) Genentech unit and Sanofi ($SNY).

In a release, the conglomerate established 5 early targets for action: developing a shared user interface for investigator site portals; mutual recognition of study site qualification and training; developing risk-based site-monitoring approaches and standards; developing clinical data standards; and establishing of a comparator drug supply model.

That'll mean reaching out to CROs, TransCelerate says, and the nonprofit will be looking for the most efficient and cost-effective ways to get drugs from the lab to patients' hands. As it stands, the cost of getting a drug approved is about $1.2 billion, The Associated Press reports, and the whole process takes 10 to 15 years. By leveraging their collective experience, resources and relationships, the Big Pharmas of TransCelerate aim to bring those numbers down.

"It will enable everybody to develop new drugs faster and better," Garry Neil, the group's acting CEO, told The Associated Press. "If this helps to reduce costs, then maybe we can investigate more drugs."

- read TransCelerate's release
- check out FierceBiotech's take
- get more from the AP

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