At the end of the day yesterday, R&D experts from an assortment of biopharmaceutical research companies as well as venture capital came together to discuss what the future of the sector will look like from an innovation standpoint.
They shared case studies of different sorts of innovation that they have seen in their careers. They highlighted groundbreaking, first-in-class technologies as well as medicines with improved dosing regimens. A medicine for hemophilia that requires dosing every other day provides better quality of life than one that is needed daily, for example, and ultimately can also lead to better health, said Biogen Idec's Doug Williams.
GlaxoSmithKline's Moncef Slaoui, meanwhile, pointed out that while control of a disease's symptoms can mean progress, it still doesn't meet the goal of defeating the disease.
He also provided a great metaphor for why companies make changes to already-approved medicines - an occasionally misunderstood and criticized practice.
"It's Monday-morning quarterbacking to revisit our clinical plan and figure out how to provide a better benefit to patients," he said.
More seriously, Williams concluded, "Innovation comes in a lot of different forms."