Broken biopharm

November 6, 2009
Stephanie Sutton

Stephanie Sutton was an assistant editor at Pharmaceutical Technology Europe.

Pharmaceutical Technology Europe

The engine of biopharmaceutical innovation is broken, according to Eli Lilly's Chairman and CEO, John C. Lechleiter.

The engine of biopharmaceutical innovation is broken, according to Eli Lilly's Chairman and CEO, John C. Lechleiter. Speaking to the City Club of San Diego (CA, USA), which included many business leaders from San Diego's biotech sector, Lechleiter explained that repowering pharmaceutical innovation is an "urgent" need. "At a time when the world desperately needs more new medicines, we're taking too long, spending too much and producing far too little," he said.

He believes that the biotech industry is wasting its potential. Although he acknowledged that several major challenges are facing the industry, such as a loss of trust in product safety and the pressures of the healthcare system, he added that it was a waste of time to complain about these.

Instead, companies should change the way they develop new medicines. In particular, he suggested that collaboration (i.e., working with large and small enterprises, as well as academic and government researchers worldwide) and competency (i.e., taking advantage of advanced scientific tools) could help to boost medical innovation. He also added that patients and improved outcomes should be placed at the center of research from the start of the drug development process.

According to Lechleiter, reinventing biopharm R&D will help regain the public's trust, address the concerns of regulators and demonstrate to policymakers the value that innovative medicines can play.

www.lilly.com