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Collaboration versus outsourcing: the need to think outside the box.

by Graeme M Robertson, Lorenz M Mayr
Future medicinal chemistry ()
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As has been widely reviewed elsewhere, the pharmaceutical industry is experiencing an 'innovation deficit' as evidenced by the decline in new chemical entity output. This decline, compounded by increased costs and regulatory requirements highlights the need to significantly revise strategic options across the drug-discovery spectrum. Within such revision(s), much of the focus has been on outsourcing to reduce, or at least contain, costs, but if the underlying predominance of 'closed collaborations' is not challenged to allow better use of combined knowledge and, thus, move towards a more genuine collaborative process then a 'numbers only' approach will not bring medium-to-long-term survival. There are many problems to confront in evolving new sustainable strategies, a real need to think differently exists and should to be cultivated. This article reviews current outsourcing and collaboration strategies to provide a perspective on how great knowledge sharing could help revise the drug-discovery process.

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