Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Credit Crunch Threatens New Medicines

Date:
October 28, 2008
Source:
Economic & Social Research Council
Summary:
The global financial crisis could seriously delay the discovery and production of many new life-saving medicines, warns a major international conference.

The global financial crisis could seriously delay the discovery and production of many new life-saving medicines, warns a major international conference on October 27.

Investment into research for new drugs - which globally runs into the billions – is now seriously at threat as former investors in the drug companies shy away as a result of the economic meltdown.

Professor David Wield, Director of the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Edinburgh-based Innogen Centre, and chair of the 'Genomics and Society: Reinventing Life?' conference, delivered a stark warning prior to the gathering of over 200 experts at conference in London.

Professor Wield said: "Investing in biotech companies is now seen as risk taking, and will not be for the timid. What will happen to investment in biotech research if finance cannot even be found for relatively everyday expenses which are increasingly becoming more of a struggle?

"Drug discovery depends on long-term finance with high risk of failure – and lots of it. Financing of biotechnology companies hit $50bn in 2007. And overall, these biotechs only made profits for the very first time last year, amounting to $1bn on revenues of $59bn."

According to Professor Wield, in addition to the impact on the basic research performed at biotechnology companies, development of medicines by pharmaceutical companies has also been hit by the credit crunch. "Like many other sectors, the pharmaceutical industry has had tough times recently – there is seemingly no way to speed up and improve the drug discovery pipeline, and heavily increased R&D has not increased the number of new drugs."

"As a result, big companies have been laying-off staff and closing down research units, instead looking to biotechnology start-ups for new ideas," he added.

In recognition of the significant long term and immediate challenges faced by the pharmaceutical sector the UK Research Councils are working to help underpin future development of the sector for example to find new ways of enabling effective drug trials that enjoy public confidence; and building new research partnership with the sector.

This impact of the credit crunch on research into new medicines and treatments will be considered at the conference as part of a debate featuring two eminent economics experts, Professor Gary Pisano of Harvard University, and Professor William Lazonick of the University of Massachusetts Lowell. The session will be chaired by BBC business journalist, Simon Gompertz.

With so much of the life sciences already intertwined with our everyday life, further conference sessions will concentrate on whether society is keeping pace with advances in biology. These include issues surrounding the use and safekeeping of our personal biological information, the development of sustainable biofuels, and the creation - for stem cell research - of human-animal hybrids.

Other topics to be discussed range from the ethical impacts of emerging disciplines such as synthetic biology - which attempts to recreate living systems in the laboratory and may one day produce artificial life-forms - to the likely contributions the life sciences will make to global challenges such as food security and climate change.

The gathering is the annual conference of the ESRC's Genomics Network, and it brings together social and natural scientists with policymakers and commentators, from all over the globe. This year it has been organised by the network's Innogen centre, which is based at the University of Edinburgh and the Open University.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Economic & Social Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Economic & Social Research Council. "Credit Crunch Threatens New Medicines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081027082121.htm>.
Economic & Social Research Council. (2008, October 28). Credit Crunch Threatens New Medicines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081027082121.htm
Economic & Social Research Council. "Credit Crunch Threatens New Medicines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081027082121.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins