Publications and Presentations

Why is it still drug discovery?

Why is it still drug discovery?

Oct 15, 2009

Explore luck and judgement in drug discovery

M. D. Segall, Eur. Biopharma. Rev., 2008

Matthew Segall (while still in the ADMET Division, BioFocus DPI), explored the balance between luck and judgement in drug discovery. As Matt put it “The vision of an in silico design process for drug molecules is certainly attractive, so why has this goal yet to be realised, despite an enormous effort over the past 10 years?”


Estimates for average costs and durations vary, but a reasonable approximation puts the typical duration for bringing a drug to market at 12-15 years (1). The average cost is at over $800 million (2). The reason for this is that the process is dominated by failure. There is a high attrition rate of compounds and projects, even in the later and most expensive clinical phases. Therefore, the majority of the cost is associated with compounds and projects that never result in a marketed drug.

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You can download a copy of this article on luck and judgement in drug discovery as a PDF file via the button below. Alternatively, visit the journal webpage.


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