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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2010 Nov;9(11):867-82. doi: 10.1038/nrd3251. Epub 2010 Oct 29.

The importance of new companies for drug discovery: origins of a decade of new drugs.

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University of Tokyo, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, Japan 153-8904.

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  • Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2010 Dec;9(12):955.


Understanding the factors that promote drug innovation is important both for improvements in health care and for the future of organizations engaged in drug discovery research and development. By identifying the inventors of 252 new drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration from 1998 to 2007 and their places of work, and also classifying these drugs according to innovativeness, this study investigates the contribution of different types of organizations and regions to drug innovation during this period. The data indicate that drugs initially discovered in biotechnology companies or universities accounted for approximately half of the scientifically innovative drugs approved, as well as half of those that responded to unmet medical needs, although their contribution to the total number of new drugs was proportionately lower. The biotechnology companies were located mainly in the United States. This article presents a comprehensive analysis of these data and discusses potential contributing factors to the trends observed, with the aim of aiding efforts to promote drug innovation.

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