Stupid Drug Discovery Advice, $2 Billion dollar prizes and Antibiotics.

The NYTimes placed a column from Ezekiel Emmanuel, Vice Provost at the University of Pennsylvania, ~ward the subject of antibiotic resistance and to what degree to encourage more companies to develop antibiotics.

He’s identified the moot point. Companies don’t want to endue a ton of money in a handling that’s only going to be used for a short period of time. By the mode, that’s the new business original. Back in the olden days whenever I first started working in pharma, we had quite kinds of therapeutic areas to single out from. But during the mergers and acquisition years for the period of the 90’s to the intervening Naughties, those therapeutic areas had to have existence eliminated to make room for shareholder appreciate. Ok, I don’t want to engender into this too deeply because it’s district I’ve covered before but I main touch on it towards the close.

As I’ve discussed before, the antibiotic shortage point in dispute was bound to come up. Bacteria mutate. It’s the kind of they do. They are masters of of nature selection, if you believe in doctrine of development. If you don’t, an infection might just be one of those secret things that happen to people who prepare not pray enough. See, there’s any other topic I don’t want to obtain into right now.

Here’s the point in dispute: as Derek Lowe at In the Pipeline has pointed out, the molecule space around the emblematical antibiotic therapy has been exhausted. There are other targets than beta lactamases but they are not low hanging edible succulent growth anymore. There are new mechanisms that we be obliged to learn, like quorum sensing during the term of example.

When a new target is identified, it takes ~ persons years for that project to span any semblance of what Silicon Valley industries would divine summons fruition. In fact, the most giving ground of hope project I was ever on started back in 2006. I don’t perceive what its status is at this salient trait. It was promising enough that I speculate there was a drug there. But I’m betting it is muffle in the early phases of clinical progressive growth even now. That’s almost 10 years later.

This is the riddle that a $2B prize does not unfold. You can’t incentivize research like this. The sense is that the money has to be spent up front. That is the point to be solved that almost all R&D, the one and the other academic and industrial, is grappling with right now. The scientists have to have existence hired and paid, the reagents be in possession of to be ordered and paid, the apparatus has to be bought and maintained, and the nation funding all of this have to acquire the patience of saints while the scientists agitate through iteration of iteration of assays, powerfully throughput screening, medicinal chemistry and drug design, pharmacology, ADME/T optimization and plate up. It takes a long time and it’s expensive.

There are ways to reduce costs. For exemplification, don’t make everyone live in Cambridge, MA or San Francisco. That lawful there would save the funding executor a bunch o’cash. Move populace back to the mid-west from from what source they came 25 years ago. You be assured of, those places like Kalamazoo and Cinncinatti or verily Pittsburgh. It’s cheap to live in the present life and there is such a part called the internet. We might smooth use web meetings to interact through each other. Wow, I believe I equable used to do that with my colleagues in France and Germany formerly upon a time about 5 years gone! Let’s face it, there is not a swollen melting pot of exchange going put ~ in Cambridge when everyone has signed confidentiality agreements. The but reasons to relocate there is 1.) it allows the MBAs who were formerly bio majors but sold out as far as concerns the big bucks to live vicariously and 2.) I wish absolutely no idea. No one I understand actually wants to relocate to Cambridge. But I’m acquirement off topic.

My point is that the investment has to be made up ~ elevation. It doesn’t do much favorable if it comes afterwards, especially admitting that there are side effects and lawsuit that need to be covered. This is the case with all drugs. To get the drug discovery mechanism rolling, the fuel has to approach early in the process and exist committed to seeing the process through. That’s what we don’t be under the necessity anymore. Once the drug is discovered and marketed, the profits have power to be reinvested in the next put ~s into. That’s what used to turn up.

Note that in this scenario, it is the R&D professionals who are serious, not marketing, finance or shareholders. The researchers aren’t in it since the big bucks. You will possess to take my word for this. Almost ~t one one I ever worked with went into chemistry or biology by the intention of becoming an entrepreneur or cashing in massive on their first blockbuster. Pushing us to be changed to what we are not may have ~ing hampering the drug discovery process. Do you scarceness someone in the lab making discoveries or confer you want that person negotiating with contractors and venture capitalists? You can’t wish both. There may be a scarcely any people who have the energy beneficial to both but they are exceedingly subtile or exceptionally lucky.

And here is where I revisit the cause for wherefore antibiotics, and other therapeutic areas like CNS, Cardiovascular and reproductive freedom from disease, have been abandoned. It was the insanity to merge that caused this to turn up. All of those mid-size labs were joined and afterward a purging went on when the executory bonus class and shareholders took their divide. They created “efficiencies” by keen out R&D and stately cost cutting measures on research. They made inquiry departments compete with outside vendors ~ the sake of services. They destroyed the collaboration betwixt departments and exacerbated the complexity of the enigma to be solved. They looked at their office-merger portfolios and said, “Antibiotics are not chronic therapies. We can’t make coin on those. Let’s cut them.”. That’s what happened, Mr. Vice Provost.

And THEN, to overpower it all off, the mergers and acquisitors undeniable that academic researchers were so plenteous less expensive. Why not scrap the R&D cluster altogether and let them do it?? Not that I esteem a problem with grad students if it be not that realistically, you have to do pertaining research and follow a project from sudden motion to finish (if that’s potential without being interrupted by a merger or layoff) judgment you actually “get it”. Solving a deaden with narcotics discovery problem is one of the principally difficult problems in science. Pretending it have power to be done on the cheap or rewarded afterwards at the time the vulture capitalists are going to call for their cut is not really brains the nature of the problem.

A $2B prize is not a solution. It is the definition of success from a country that thinks the only reward is money. THAT is the bigger enigma that we have not solved and the intellectual powers why new antibiotics are in lacking supply.

Filed under: General Tagged: | antibiotics, medicine discovery, Ezekial Emmanuel, mergers and acquisitions, shareholder cost

Special, taking certain hospital boy declared from the trouble of vulnerable exams.

Recent Comments