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Press Release Category Health - Medicine - visiongain Release Date: October 27, 2004

"$19.6 billion spent on drug discovery and set to increase by 6%" reports visiongain

By visiongain
October 27, 2004
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With increasing lead times and cost of drug development, companies need to find new drugs, quicker and cheaper than before. At least 50 of the 433 are "me-too" drugs, and all are based on eight chemical scaffolds. This presents how hard it is to find or make a new molecule that has an important therapeutic effect. What has become obvious is that it takes longer, costs more and is much harder to discover new drugs than it used to be.

PR9.NET October 27, 2004 - San Francisco, CA and London, UK - In 2002 spending on drug discovery was $19.6bn, which is expected to increase on average by 6% per annum. In addition, it has been estimated that it costs a drug company, $803m to bring a drug to market. Inherently, within these costs are include all the molecules that have failed and it is likely that these costs will continue to rise.

Drug discovery is an expensive activity and the amount of money wasted on leads that fail is excessive. The attrition rate to get a lead is huge. One estimate is that for every 100,000 compounds screened, about 100 hits are identified. Of these 100 hits, only one makes it to the lead compound stage. Between 40% and 60% of these lead compounds fail ADMET testing. Only 10% of IND submissions get approved. Over 72% of the costs for drug development are wasted on failures.

In the 1970's the average cost of developing a drug from target compound through animal models and clinical trials to market was a modest $54 million, 20 years down the line, that figure jumped to $231 million. Estimates from the late 1990s put the cost at around $500 million. However, by 2002, data reflected on a random selection of home grown drugs from 10 pharmaceutical companies, it is calculated that the current cost of drug discovery is $802 million per drug.

This 2.5-fold increase, in inflation adjusted terms over the past decade. "This figure includes estimates of the cost of drug candidates that fail during various stages of the discovery process. Had costs risen merely at the pace of inflation, the current figure would be just $318 million," Dr Ray Scraggs, PhD, a leading certified Senior Industry Analyst.

The successful sequencing of the human genome in 2001 has also had immense importance in the development of such techniques. Modern drug discovery techniques have been heralded as the way for drug companies to discover the next generation of blockbuster drugs. However, on examination, new techniques achieved will provide huge numbers of possibilities of compounds as possible new drug candidates with means to testing them. The philosophy is that by testing more, more new drugs will be discovered.

However, the danger is that all will happen is that more compounds will be tested because the system is designed to do just that but there will be no increase in the numbers of new drugs produced. "Many promises have been made of modern drug discovery techniques but this new technology has yet to make good on that early promise," Dr Scraggs.

The pharmaceutical industry is the most tightly regulated industry in the world and each drug brought to market has only a limited life span as a patent protected product, once the patent life is expired then other companies are then free to make their own versions of the drug. By examining in detail each of the different aspects of drug discovery, the market participants, the technology, the new developments and where appropriate an analysis of the market. But more importantly, these techniques will be placed in context and their true value in drug discovery will be discussed and assessed.

If you are interested in an overview of Modern Drug discovery Markets 2004 - 2009 – Please send an email to Senh Ip – Corporate communications at – including: Full name, Company name, Title, Contact Tel Number, Fax and Email. Following this information, an overview will be emailed to you.

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About visiongain

Visiongain is one of the fastest growing and most innovative independent media companies in Europe today. visiongain produce a host of business-2-business conferences, newsletters, management reports and e-zines focusing on the Financial markets, the Pharmaceutical, Telecoms industries and the Defence sector.

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