Press Release

PhRMA Statement Regarding Translational Research

PhRMA January 23, 2011

Washington, D.C. (Jan. 23, 2011) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President David E. Wheadon issued the following statement today regarding public/private collaborations in new drug discovery:

“Collaboration – including industry, NIH and academia – is one element driving innovation in drug development, particularly early stage – and ‘bold and ambitious’ proposals, such as Dr. Collins’, will be key to how we collectively progress in discovering novel compounds for addressing patients’ unmet medical needs.

“PhRMA agrees that we need more innovative new medicines to help patients. This recognition is important as it supports the role that new medicines play in addressing healthcare problems.

“We’re proud of the vital role played by America’s biopharmaceutical research companies’ in helping patients to live longer, healthier lives: New-generation medicines have tamed chronic diseases and have transformed such serious illnesses as HIV/AIDS into manageable conditions. We’ve made dramatic strides in the battles against diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Building on this remarkable progress, today nearly three thousand medicines – including revolutionary personalized medicines and many other new approaches to treating disease – are in development.

“The biopharmaceutical research sector invested an estimated $65.3 billion to discover and develop new medicines in 2009 alone, a figure that dwarfs what it spends on marketing in total. Yet, the challenges and risks remain real. In fact, the odds of success are steep – just one approved medicine, on average, for every 10,000 promising molecules initially studied.

“We’re encouraged by Dr. Collins’ goal, described in this publication and others, of taking a sharper focus on early-stage research in the hope of improving the ultimate success rates in drug development.

“The fact remains that biopharmaceutical research companies today and in the future will play a pivotal role: Our companies create the vast majority of new medicines from start to finish and, for the remainder, in close collaboration with academia and NIH, fulfill the critical final phase that transforms promising molecules into actual medicines for patients.”

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $50.3 billion in 2008 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.2 billion in 2008.

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