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Focus Track Fridays: Pharmaceutical Discovery and Development
As part of the effort to keep students on the cutting edge of current trends in industry, KGI hosted a day-long workshop at the beginning of December exploring Evolving Strategies for 21st Century Drug Discovery. This was the second in a series of "Focus Track Friday" events hosted and organized by KGI faculty and staff.
A long list of influential industry professionals made their way to KGI to speak to students about changes that are occurring in the drug discovery model with the rising cost of R&D, the lengthening approval process, and an industry that is growing to be more globalized everyday. For example, students were able to hear from Elaine Heron, CEO of Amplyx Pharmaceuticals about the virtual company model. Roger Marchetti, Senior VP of Human Resources and Corporate Resources of Amylin Pharmaceuticals also spoke about the changing needs of the evolving pharmaceutical industry, particularly where students can expect to find jobs where they can apply their hybrid abilities to push innovation. Visit the event page to see the full line up of speakers.
Although presenters all came from different business and industry sectors, each emphasized similar conclusions from this day-long workshop. Drug discovery and development is becoming increasingly complicated, requiring more time and money with little improvement in the number of drugs produced and approved. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are starting to look to smaller biotech companies as well as entities overseas for everything from lead identification to clinical trials. Although the globalization of the industry is auspicious for drug discovery, there are also concerns regarding safety, efficacy, and even ethics. These concerns are evident in the general public not exclusively among those involved in the industry. Vanity Fair even explored the risks involved with overseas clinical trials in a recent article entitled "Deadly Medicine."
Stay tuned for future Focus Track Fridays and other industry events at KGI.
By Christina Lai (MBS '11)