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Editorial Snapshot: Fueling innovation in the pharmaceutical industry

- A.P., Editor

Large pharmaceutical companies have traditionally handled research and development activities internally. However, these completely integrated R&D organizations that are characteristic of the pharmaceutical industry may no longer be efficient enough to meet the challenges of bringing a much-needed therapy to the market. With the global prescription drug market expected to reach nearly $1.1 trillion by 2020, pharmaceutical R&D is increasingly looking to strategies such as open innovation and outsourcing to remain competitive.

One method the pharmaceutical companies are using is crowdsourcing, which is a way of using a large number of global experts to solve complex problems. Not only does this group-approach to problem solving help integrate knowledge, it also reduces overhead costs and provides access to new technologies.

Another example is open solicitations for drug discovery research proposals, such as those posted on the website of the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED). To help promote open innovation and enhance cooperation among universities, research institutes, and other organizations with a focus on R&D, AMED’s website includes a list of open solicitations. By soliciting such proposals, pharmaceutical companies hope to stay competitive and agile in the pursuit of new drug discoveries by accepting valuable input from researchers that are outside of their existing integrated R&D organizations.

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