Back in May, it was announced that new stem cell research would reduce the need for animal testing. Now, we are really beginning to see the benefits of groundbreaking science that is not reliant on out dated methods of testing. The proposal was that by reprogramming powerful stem cells from adult tissue, we could look towards a future without animal testing.
It is understood that huge amounts of money have been invested into drug discovery and the biggest problem faced by the industry is investing in drugs which may not make it onto the market. Europe has always been seen to trail behind the US when discussing drug discovery within the pharmaceutical industry, but with the biotechnology revolution they have begun to catch and becoming a driving force within the global industry.
The NGP EU committee has been celebrating the success of their pioneering roles in genome sequencing and the development of proteomic. Pfizer has recently announced to the NGP Drug Discovery committee that they plan to roll out a hit identification and screening file strategy. The process will offer a new flexible strategy for hit identification while sculpting a more reliable and efficient screening process.
Hit-throughput screening (HTS) has grown rapidly over the last ten years and Pfizer themselves noted the huge advances in both detection technology and laboratory automation. Pfizer believe that not only big Pharma but also smaller companies can implement HTS as well. By implementing HTS, it can remove the indecision over which compunds will be profiles, many smaller companies agonize over the costs of conventional profiling sometimes only choosing between 10 and 20 compounds, this already removes other possibilities before true research can really begin. Pfizer among other members of the NGP EU Drug Discovery committee wish to discuss how they wish to implement large scale profiling at a lower cost, while maintaining the incredible biological, technological, and scientific advancements they are already demonstrating globally.
GSK have also joined Pfizer recently in encouraging the implementation of HTS. "We are now at a stage where we can exploit the benefits of cutting edge technology for increased quality, performance and capabilities. We also have the option to supply the same number of compounds, with the same level of quality at an affordable price".
Key to discussions will be representatives from AstraZeneca - Goran Wennberg, VP Discovery Information, Bayer Schering Pharma - Andreas Busch, Head of Global Drug Discovery & Member of the Board , Novartis - Olivier Grenet , Group Head of Genome Biology, GlaxoSmithKline - Tino Rossi, VP of PreClinical Drug Discovery & Enabling Technologies and Pfizer - John Mathias, Head of High Through Put Screening all determined to firmly place Europe as the Drug Discovery capital.
The discovery and implementation of HTS not only offers an opportunity to smaller Pharma companies but also the consumer, if research and quality is increased and cost decreased this in turn will be passed onto the consumer.
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