时间: 2012-05-21 23:24:22 作者: 来源: 字号:
Glaxo studies traditional Chinese medicine

Scientists from GlaxoSmithKline are to study how traditional Chinese medicine can be applied to modern drugs as part of a revamp of the company’s research and development.

Glaxo researchers are investigation how priciples of Chinese medicines can be applied to making new, synthetic, molecules.

Britain’s biggest drug maker last week unveiled the outcome of a review of its 38 groups of scientists, known as Discovery Performance Units (DPU), saying it would close three units and open four.

The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the new units will look at traditional Chinese medicines, investigating how their principles can be applied to making new, synthetic, molecules.

“Within our discovery organisation in China we have created a DPU that will marry traditional Chinese medicine with modern drug discovery and clinical efficacy,” said Moncef Slaoui, Glaxo’s chairman of research and development. “With modern technology we have the potential to yield new molecular entities with significant efficacy.”

The new unit will be based in China – Glaxo launched an R&D centre in Shanghai almost five years ago.

With its pharmaceutical market forecast to mushroom to more than $100bn (?63.5bn) by 2015, China is one of the most important battlegrounds for drug companies facing pricing pressure and more competition from generics.

Glaxo’s move reflects a wish by drug companies to adapt their research to particular regions. Six years ago, AstraZeneca established a centre in China to study diseases prevalent in Asia, such as liver and stomach cancer, and lung conditions.

Last October, Astra also said it planned to invest $200m in a new Chinese factory making intravenous and oral solid medicines.

Astra’s sales in emerging markets, including China, grew 10pc to $5.8bn last year, while Glaxo’s Asia Pacific revenues grew 7pc to ?1.8bn.

关闭三个新药研发单位, 设立四个新的研发单位, 其中之一是TCM研发机构

Glaxo studies traditional Chinese medicine

Scientists from GlaxoSmithKline are to study how traditional Chinese medicine can be applied to modern drugs as part of a revamp of the company’s research and development.

Following a three-year review of its new approach to R&D, GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) today revealed that it has decided to ax three of its 38 tightly-focused research units and add four more in a shakeup. The final tally, which doesn't specify exactly who wins or loses, also included plans to beef up the budgets for 6 of their Discovery Performance Units while slicing funding on 5 others. And CEO Andrew Witty pronounced himself quite satisfied with the DPUs' overall performance, with the new annual numbers reflecting a boost in productivity as GSK moves ahead with plans to file for approvals on four new drugs and vaccines--including an MEK inhibitor for melanoma, trametinib, which scored paydirt data in Phase III, according to today's release.

Alone among the Big Pharma companies, GlaxoSmithKline has been tracking the rate of return on the money it spends on its late-stage pipeline work. In 2010, the return rate was 11%. Last year, that figure swelled to 12% as Witty vows to make it to the 14% mark. GSK says it will keep its R&D budget, a bellwether in the industry, flat at 3.7 billion euros.

In one of the most closely watched R&D restructurings in the industry, GSK launched its DPU approach to drug development back in 2008, promising to cut groups that underperform and back those making headway after winning three-year budgets for their work. The idea, advanced by Witty and R&D chief Moncef Slaoui, was that scientists would stay more closely focused if they knew their teams' funding relied on tangible progress--a daily reality for most biotech companies.

"These units comprise 5-70 scientists, with each group focusing on one particular disease or pathway," noted Witty in GSK's annual report. "Over the last three years, I have visited many of the DPUs and am very pleased with the energy, approach and productivity we are seeing from our scientists in these units." There's no word of any layoffs or departures in R&D today. GSK has made it clear that even if some teams didn't make the cut, it would transfer employees to other DPUs.

Now that the three-year review is over, GSK says the next three years will see 30 programs move into late-stage development. Those DPUs are now wrapping six late-stage programs, Witty says. The four slated to be filed for approval this year include Relovair, its COPD treatment partnered with Theravance ($THRX), Promacta for hepatitis C and the MEK inhibitor for melanoma. The melanoma drug is GSK'212, or trametinib, which went into Phase III about a year ago.  2    1 2 下一页 尾页
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