The sky's the limit

Apr 01, 2010


Fedra Pavlou
Change is a part of life which some fear whilst others thrive. In the commercial world, a fundamental aspect of good management is to apply strategic insight to react to change in order to survive and grow. The pharmaceutical industry, as with every industry, is constantly exposed to new threats. Companies are all too painfully aware that the external threats that it currently faces, as well as the threat of their own drying pipelines, are forcing it to adapt and to stay on the lookout for new opportunities — now more than ever.

In this month's issue, we have been exploring one field of medicine that we believe presents pharma companies with one such exciting opportunity — the field of personalised medicine. When you seek to combine genomics with medicine there are always going to be obstacles, but the incredible opportunities that personalised medicine could bring to our industry and to global healthcare are almost limitless. It's therefore no surprise that genomics companies and genetic diagnostic kit manufacturers are firmly on the radar of most of the big players. For now it seems that the industry is still quietly watching and waiting; companies need to be convinced, not only by the science, but also that they can feasibly implement the process changes that will be required in their manufacturing facilities. Can companies still make a profit even after reverting from a single-product, commercial-scale manufacture to a multi-product, batch-scale manufacture model? This month we speak with experts to try and allay some of these manufacturing concerns and to better understand how much closer we are to personalised medicine becoming a reality.

I personally believe that this is a field of medicine that will define the future of our healthcare and I do hope that the pharmaceutical industry embraces this change. I'm an optimist and I welcome and adapt to change pretty easily, sometimes too easily (so I guess it's a good job that I don't make these strategic decisions!). There's no doubt in my mind, however, that pharma companies are excited by the possibility of personalised medicine, but we'll have to wait and see whether this reality proves to be a feasible one and, if so, it will be interesting to see just how "personalised" it will be feasible for us to go. The sky could be the limit.

Best wishes,

Fedra Pavlou