Voltando ao caso efavirenz, somente de passagem. Se eu fosse acionista da Merck nos Estados Unidos teria ficado muito chateado com o comportamento da empresa. Por que? a estratégia melhor para a empresa seria uma parceria com o Brasil para produzir o medicamento aqui, licenciado. Com isso teriam ganhos de imagem com a " comunidade aids " mundial bem como em toda a América Latina, além de ganhos financeiros, porque poderiam competir melhor com os indianos. Mas, difícil exigir pensamento estratégico de quem ficou mal acostumado com as benesses do poder do Partido Republicano por um lado, por outro somente pensando no balancete trimestral para auferir bonificações e dividendos das ações da empresa.
Porém, o problema principal de algumas empresas é acreditar que há saída na "química fina", perto do rentável e mais seguro mercado da biotecnologia tal como apresentado na reportagem do The Wall Street Journal (abaixo). Acrescentaria também a importância da farmacogenômica, um caminho que algumas empresas já perceberam como sendo o grande caminho da Big Pharma. Algo me diz que as empresas européias estão mais "antenadas" do que as americanas e, voltarei a discutir a hipótese que a "química fina" será uma commodity.
AstraZeneca CEO DrivesPlan for Biological Drugs By JEANNE WHALENMay 21, 2007 For years, British drug maker AstraZeneca PLC concentrated on developing what much of the rest of Big Pharma was toiling over: so-called small-molecule drugs made from chemical compounds. Now, under Chief Executive David Brennan, the British pharmaceuticals giant is making a big bet on "large-molecule" drugs, also widely known as biological drugs. Made from genetically engineered versions of human proteins, the drugs' active ingredients are hundreds of times larger than compounds found in most chemical pills. Biological drugs have been some of the most innovative, and lucrative, drugs to hit the market in recent years. In the U.S., sales have increased to $50.7 billion in 2005 from $8 billion in 1992, according to the Biotechnology Industry Organization, a trade group. And unlike chemical drugs, biological treatments usually don't face generic competition because manufacturing and regulatory hurdles make them difficult to copy. A four-year drive to boost biological-drug research at AstraZeneca accelerated under Mr. Brennan, who took over as CEO in January 2006 and has turned to acquisitions to reach that goal. Last month, Mr. Brennan scooped up a biological-drug trailblazer, MedImmune Inc., Gaithersburg, Maryland, for $15.6 billion. Other Big-Pharma companies have taken a similar approach. Pfizer Inc. has acquired several biological-focused companies in recent years, and Novartis AG and Sanofi-Aventis SA are aiming to boost the number of biological drugs in their development pipelines. Mr. Brennan said he's been impressed with a slew of new biological drugs that smaller biotechnology companies have been churning out in recent years, including drugs for cancer and arthritis. "Some of these products have demonstrated that they're not just symptomatic treatments but that they actually alter the course of the disease," he said in a recent interview in London. AstraZeneca badly needs new products. Several of its top-selling drugs are facing generic competition, and the company has sustained some setbacks in developing new medicines in recent years. AstraZeneca's sales last year rose 11% to $26.8 billion, while profit rose 29% to $6.04 billion. But analysts say earnings will come under pressure in coming years unless AstraZeneca improves its development of new drugs. To go after biological drugs, AstraZeneca faces some big cultural challenges. Because large-molecule drug research is relatively new, it has been dominated by small firms that pounced on the science early. Many of the best scientists in the field are accustomed to working in entrepreneurial environments. To recruit and retain them, AstraZeneca may need to provide them a similar atmosphere. Mr. Brennan will need to meld the entrepreneurial staff of 2,500 at MedImmune into AstraZeneca, which has 66,000 employees and 16 research sites around the world. AstraZeneca is offering MedImmune scientists a bonus if they agree to stay with AstraZeneca for a year or more. MedImmune's chief executive, David Mott, will run AstraZeneca's biologicials unit, which will also include Cambridge Antibody Technology, another biotech company known as CAT that AstraZeneca acquired for $1.1 billion last year. Mr. Brennan said he wants to give MedImmune researchers as much autonomy as possible inside AstraZeneca. "There are certain areas where we'll come together and others where it's very appropriate to keep the biologicals organization running very separately," he said.