There is probably no headline that comes out of a pharmaceutical company more frequently than one relating to collaboration. Collaboration between pharmaceutical companies and academia, hospitals, start-ups, and large pharma has been happening for a long time. However, the focus on collaboration has intensified in recent years, and for the right reasons. In fact, you would probably need to go back several decades to find the traditional (i.e., in-house) approach toward developing blockbuster drugs.
The reasons for and benefits of collaborations and partnerships are many. Often, one organization has deep expertise in the area in which it is working, while another organization has the scale and ability to bring a product to patients.
One can also look at clinical trials to understand the benefits of collaboration. Clinical trials are expensive, long, and, due to complex protocols, often destined to struggle from the beginning. If one considers all the other organizations developing therapies for the same disease, a lot of unnecessary overlap will be found.
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The advantages of a multi-company are clear. The cost is spread out. Patients can enroll faster. Treatments can more quickly move along the clinical trial process. It’s a win-win for the pharmaceutical companies and patients.
There’s probably no better evidence of the success that comes from collaborating than Johnson & Johnson. In a video on the company’s website, Joaquin Duato, worldwide chairman of Pharmaceuticals at Johnson & Johnson, said, “Of the 16 new medicines that we have been able to bring forward in the last five years, most of them were a result of collaboration.”
Many other success stories have surfaced in recent years, including those that showcase how clinical trial data sharing has helped reduce the need for additional enrolled subjects, demonstrate drug efficacy, and increase productivity.
Collaboration will continue to drive innovation as more companies reap the benefits of these win-win partnerships.
To learn about other trends that we can also expect to see in 2018, click here.