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Expert Interview
Dr. Andrew Alexander Parsons, Director at Reciprocal Minds Limited and former VP
Preclinical Drug Develop...
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Is there real evidence of an impact of collaboration and investment between Pharma and Biotech? And how is the impact measured?

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We asked Dr. Andrew Alexander Parsons, Director at Reciprocal Minds Limited and former VP Preclinical Drug Development and External Discovery at GSK in the UK, what really challenges the enhancement of early-stage development today. With his 15 years plus of experience working in collaborations and creating new frameworks for collaboration and investment between Pharma and Biotech, Parsons is the right person to ask. Read the full interview here:

http://bit.ly/Slideshare_QA_Parsons

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Is there real evidence of an impact of collaboration and investment between Pharma and Biotech? And how is the impact measured?

  1. 1. Expert Interview Dr. Andrew Alexander Parsons, Director at Reciprocal Minds Limited and former VP Preclinical Drug Development and External Discovery at GSK, UK will talk about “Crystallizing open innovation within the Stevenage biomedical catalyst” at this year’s 5th Annual Discovery Partnerships Conference 2014 in Berlin, Germany. We won him for an interview in advance where he discussed current and future burning issues of the industry. Read the full interview here! IQPC: What in your opinion are the major challenges today for enhancing early-stage development and what major trends can you recognize in the MedChem partnership market? Dr. Andrew A. Parsons: The increasing cost of medicines development with limited/no increase in the number of approved medicines has produced the well-known productivity gap. There have been a number of hypotheses or explanations for the current state of the industry such as the “easy” targets or low hanging fruit have been harvested, or the complexity of clinical development and regulatory expectations have made it less likely to succeed. However, in my opinion the main challenge today is very similar to the one 30 years ago. The Industry as a whole still needs to develop cost–effective drug discovery programs that provide safe and effective medicines for patients and have value to society. It almost seems the more we know about a disease process, the greater “...the main challenge today the challenge. The is very similar to the one 30 years ago. The Industry as a strong interplay between genes and whole still needs to develop cost–effective drug discovery environments is beprograms that provide safe and coming increasingly effective medicines for patients clear and this reflects and have value to society.” the complexity of targeting biological processes with new effective and safe medicines. This clarity and understanding of the technical risks involved with developing early stage discovery programmes coupled with increasing cost has resulted in a change in the way the industry operates. In the past this has been a closed innovation model with many activities conducted in house whereas today external innovation is the default situation for many. These external innovation partnerships may be service orientated or more collaborative and risk shar- ing. They may have different types of organisations involved in them. For example they could be between public and/or private partners. The Innovative Medicines Initiative is a European Example of how many partners can come together to manage the complexities of a drug discovery process. I also see a challenge in the way we educate and train scientists in the areas of Discovery and Early Development Programmes. Having a technical capability is still key, but now the development of processes that work across organisations and the capability to work collaboratively is an essential part of allowing productive collaborations to flourish. IQPC: Partnerships are far more important for pharma companies today than they have ever been before, in particularly co-operations between academia and industry. Why have industry-academia partnerships gained so much importance recently? Dr. Andrew A. Parsons: Large Pharma companies no longer have the funds to conduct all aspects of R&D in abroad fashion. Choices are being made in where core expertise really resides and the development of distributed R&D networks makes Financial and Technical Sense from a risk perspective. As early stage programmes are likely to fail, have many to choose from. Over the last few years it has become really clear that Partnerships make sense. It allows institutions / companies to focus on where they really add value. Perhaps this is why Academic and Industry partnerships are becoming increasingly popular. It allows the public sector to develop new ideas and challenge existing concepts which can be commercialised effectively by the Industry. Academic collaborations have always been an essential part of the life science industry. However, both the public and private sectors are now looking for evidence of www.discovery-partnerships.com

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