Academic institutions make big contribution to drug discovery

The past decade has seen an increased investment by academic institutions into early-stage, small-molecule drug discovery. But, according to a group of researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill there hasn't been a general survey of what exactly these institutions are doing with this relatively new focus. So, they took a survey and wrote up the results in Nature Reviews. What they found was that most manage to balance their academic missions with creating new medicines. They also found: "The innovative outlook of the centres is demonstrated by the relative lack of clinical validation data on the targets being pursued, a major focus on neglected and orphan diseases, and the fact that about 30 percent of the portfolios are based on novel protein targets and phenotypic assays." The survey concludes that academic drug discovery has made a substantial contribution to discovery of most innovative biologic drugs in the past decade and to expect a similar impact on small-molecule drug discovery in the coming 10 years. Survey

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