25 Nov 2008

Novartis targets biotech drugs as it boosts R&D

Novartis has gone out of its way to persuade analysts that it is going all out to advance new medications in its pipeline. There are 139 new projects in clinical studies, including 88 new molecular entities--a 40 percent increase over 2005. And four out of every five compounds that demonstrated clinical proof-of-concept in 2006/2007 are now either in Phase II or Phase III.

Like other Big Pharma companies, Novartis knows that a big part of its future success will depend on biologics. One in four of the company's clinical studies now are devoted to biotech drugs. And Novartis wants to bring biotech's razor sharp focus to all of its discovery work.

"We are working to transition pharmaceuticals development into highly integrated teams that consistently deliver innovative medicines to patients with biotech-like intensity, focus and flexibility," said Trevor Mundel, MD, head of Global Development Function.

"Our strategy is working to deliver more effective medicines to patients rapidly," said Mark Fishman, MD, president of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. "In a relatively short time we have dramatically increased the size and power of our pipeline and believe many of these compounds have the potential to change the practice of medicine."

- read Novartis' release

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