R&D 'commoditization' forces pharma to get creative

Several of the keynote speakers for the upcoming BIO-Europe 2008 in Germany plan to focus on the ongoing revolution in drug discovery. Big Pharma is looking more and more outside of its corporate boundaries for the expertise and ideas that it will need in order to survive. And in this brave new world the organizations that can put together the best R&D teams from academia, biotech and pharma will thrive.

As for the rest? Not so much.

"The inexorable move toward partnering is being driven by economic forces within big pharma, the growing strength of innovation from external sources, and the worldwide commoditization of R&D expertise," says Ted Torphy, CSO and head of external research and early development at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceuticals. "These trends will fuel a surge in partnerships between the pharmaceutical industry, biotech and academia that will fundamentally and irreversibly change the model by which new drugs are discovered and developed."

"The goal at AstraZeneca is to align all business development activities behind the delivery of clearly articulated strategic priorities, and the current economic climate hasn't changed the fundamental principles of what makes for a successful partnership," says Shaun Grady, AstraZeneca's VP of deal management, strategic planning and business. "Where an opportunity fits a strategic need and offers the potential to create value, we expect to see partnering playing an increasingly important role across the entire value chain in shapes and forms well beyond in-licensing and acquisitions."

- read the report from MediLexicon