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Presidents of leading associations offer views on the industry's future.
John Castellani, President and CEO, Pharmaceutical Researchand Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
"Polio and HIV/ AIDS diagnoses were once considered death sentences. Today, polio is cured and HIV/AIDS is considered a manageable, chronic condition for many patients. Is there more work to be done? Absolutely, and that is what we do every day.
"Although we have tackled many health challenges, the industry is constantly looking to the future. We know that millions more wait and hope for the next medical advancement to help prevent, treat, or finally cure painful, debilitating and even deadly conditions. Our mission is to create those innovative new life-improving and life-saving treatments. In fact, last year alone, 35 new, innovative medicines received FDA approval—one of the highest totals in the past decade. There are also more than 3200 new medicines to treat a wide range of conditions in clinical trials or under FDA review, up from 2400 six years ago. The industry can also take pride in the fact that it continues to make crucial investments in the future even in the midst of economic turmoil.
"The biopharmaceutical research industry is America's cradle of innovation. Our sector accounts for 20% of all domestic R&D funded and performed by US businesses. In 2011 alone, PhRMA member companies invested an estimated $50 billion in R&D.
"To ensure continued progress, we must foster a system that advances science, rewards investment, achieves regulatory consistency and transparency, and values how innovative medicines improve health. In turn, a strong biopharmaceutical industry can create 21st century jobs and help make our economy globally competitive.
"The biopharmaceutical research industry is working to meet the health and technological challenges the future will bring. Even in the face of continuing economic challenges, we will never lose sight of our core mission of helping people live longer, more productive lives."
Jim Greenwood, President & CEO, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
"In the three decades since human insulin, the first biotech therapy, was approved by FDA, biotechnology has changed the way we think about preventing, treating, and curing disease. We are increasing our understanding of biology at ever-greater levels of precision, enabling us to understand the functioning of plants, animals, and even our own bodies at the cellular, genetic, and molecular levels. Advances in genetics, gene sequencing, bioinformatics, proteomics, DNA microarrays, and molecular pathway studies are propelling biotech advances at an astonishing pace.
"The biotechnology industry is working to find cures and medical breakthroughs for our most devastating diseases that will save lives and improve quality of life. To date, biotechnology has created more than 200 new therapies and vaccines, including products to treat cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and autoimmune disorders, with more than 900 biotech medicines and vaccines in development.
"In the future, our genomic information will be used to help us and our doctors prevent disease, choose medicines, and make other critical decisions about our health. This personalized medicine will revolutionize healthcare, making it safer, cheaper, and more effective. The biotech industry is working towards the day when we take cancer, Alzheimers, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and all the other deadly and feared diseases that end millions of lives each year and move them from the medical books to the history books."
David Y. Mitchell, PhD, President, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS)
"The pharmaceutical sciences are moving towards a new era and continue to adapt, evolve, and thrive despite some well-documented growing pains. In the US and EU, there has been a pronounced shift to produce a leaner R&D process in large pharma, with a move in workforce towards smaller companies, CROs, CMOs, and biotechnology startups. Whereas, in Asia Pacific, pharma is expanding their footprint with clinical trials and new manufacturing sites, new government and private industry technical centers to promote basic science research, and a goal of becoming one of the top research and marketing regions of the world.
"The industry now not only looks internally for new drug-development leads, but also towards smaller pharma, biotechnology companies, and academic institutions, with their focused research programs and their quick and nimble operations, to bring forth the potential medicines of tomorrow. Further, the pharma industry is expanding globally to leverage new markets and low-cost alternatives for drug development.
"AAPS would like to congratulate Pharmaceutical Technology on its 35th anniversary. We're looking forward to continuing our strong partnership as we navigate these changes that will impact of our industry for the next 35 years."