quinta-feira, 13 de dezembro de 2007

Sai a química fina, entra a biotecnologia.

The Wall Street Journal apresenta relato impressionante da queda de empregos na Big Pharma. (vejam a figura) A causa é o fim da química fina no ramo inovador e de marca. Assiste-se a sua transformação em commodities e, consequentemente em genéricos. O futuro está com a biotecnologia. Saem os químicos, entram os biólogos. Aqui, temos a CNTBio .....bem, o que faz a CNTBio?
As Drug Industry Struggles,Chemists Face Layoff Wave Lipitor Pioneer Is Out At Doomed Pfizer Lab;A Blockbuster Drought By AVERY JOHNSON See Corrections & Amplifications belowDecember 11, 2007; Page A1 ANN ARBOR, Michigan -- In January, Pfizer Inc. announced it was closing its storied research laboratories here, laying off 2,100 people. Among the casualties: Bob Sliskovic, a 23-year lab veteran who helped create the world's most successful drug. The closure and Dr. Sliskovic's abrupt change of circumstances are emblematic of the pharmaceutical industry's declining fortunes. It was at the Ann Arbor facility in the late 1980s that Dr. Sliskovic first assembled the chemicals that make up Lipitor, the cholesterol-lowering drug that has generated about $80 billion in sales since its launch and ranks as the bestselling pharmaceutical product ever. Today, Lipitor is nearing the end of its patent life, and Pfizer hasn't been able to come up with enough promising new drugs to replace it. Following that initial breakthrough some 20 years ago, Dr. Sliskovic worked on several other research projects, but none panned out. His losing streak mirrors the industry's. A byproduct of the late-19th-century chemical business, pharmaceutical research thrived for more than a century by finding chemical combinations to treat diseases. But after contributing substantially both to human health and drug-industry profits, it has failed to produce significant innovations in recent years. igh failure rates have long plagued chemistry-based drug research. Between 5,000 and 10,000 compounds are tested for every drug that makes it to market. In recent years, the problem seems to have gotten worse. Despite spending tens of billions of dollars more on research and development, pharmaceutical companies have fewer and fewer drugs to show for it. In 2006, the industry received Food and Drug Administration approval for just 18 new chemical-based drugs, down from 53 in 1996. Moreover, many of those drugs are variations of existing medicines. Robert Massie, president of the American Chemical Society's database of chemistry research, says some researchers are questioning how many more chemical combinations there are that are useful against diseases. "It's like how coming out with metal drivers in golf was a huge innovation, but now it's incremental. You're just coming out with drivers that are a little longer or rounder," he says.

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