Drugs that address an unmet medical need have an enormous positive impact on society: introducing antibiotics and vaccines to common use in the middle 20th century shifted the life expectancy in the United States from 47 to 78 years and removed infectious disease as the major cause of death. Despite this enormous benefit, bringing new drugs to market remains arduous. Why is this the case? One cause is that we falsely perceive drug discovery as a gradual, incremental process and attempt to improve success rates by engineering and applying overwhelming force. Yet drug discovery is highly dependent on innovation, which occurs randomly and can be capitalized upon by prepared teams. This talk discusses a route to success built on viewing the path as constituted by punctuated equilibria and pursuing drugs with small, agile, and resilient teams who learn from failures and rapidly respond to changes.
Kip Guy, Professor and Dean of the College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky
NYU Abu Dhabi Institute
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