Productivity Crisis in Pharmaceutical Industry Increases Drug Prices; The CBCD Offers New Technology to Aid in Drug Discovery

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The Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease (CBCD) highlights the relationship between the productivity crisis in pharmaceutical R&D and the high prices of drugs, as a new article published on October 22, 2013 on Technologyreview.com asks, “When is the high price of a drug acceptable? (1)”

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There is a new technology called ‘Computer Intuition’ that can help pharmaceutical companies to fill their empty pipelines, increase overall profits, satisfy investors, and reduce costs to society. - CBCD

The CBCD believes there is a direct relationship between the lack of new, safe and effective drugs, a situation known as ‘The Productivity Crisis in Pharmaceutical R&D,’ and high drug prices.

For example, a study published in March of 2012 on Nature.com found that “The number of new drugs approved per billion US dollars spent on R&D by the pharmaceutical industry fell by half roughly every 9 years since 1950 (2). The financial markets term this situation an, 'empty pipeline.' ”

Along with an empty pipeline, “many drug companies are facing patent expiration for their top-selling products and could see dwindling revenues after years of lackluster research productivity (1).” In fact, most of the drugs approved by the FDA in 2012, “either treated rare diseases like cystic fibrosis or were marginal improvements over existing cancer drugs. All carried extremely high price tags (1).”

Because of empty R&D pipelines and dwindling revenues, the drug companies are raising and setting prices “according to what the market will bear, and the parties who actually pay the drug companies will meet whatever price is charged for an effective drug to which there is no alternative (1).” In other words, drug companies can raise drug prices to outrageous sums because they believe that someone will pay, and because no one is offering a better solution.

A case in point was the release of Sanofi Pharmaceutical’s anti-cancer drug, ‘Zaltrap.’ “Zaltrap was approved to treat colorectal cancer. The drug was discovered by Regeneron, an emerging biopharmaceutical company like Vertex, but sold by the French drug maker Sanofi. Though it worked no better in clinical trials than Roche’s cancer drug Avastin, which itself adds only 1.4 months to life expectancy for patients with advanced colorectal cancer, Sanofi priced Zaltrap at $11,000 a month, or twice Avastin’s price (1).”

High prices only benefit the pharmaceutical industry.

As Barry Werth, author of “The Billion Dollar Molecule” wrote, “There are inherent problems with a system where the government is one of the biggest payers, and where doctors, hospitals, insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, drug companies, and investors all expect to profit handsomely from treating sick people, no matter how little real value they add to patients’ lives or to society. Drug companies insist that they need to make billions of dollars on their medicines because their failure rate is so high and because they need to convince investors it is wise to sink money into research… (1).”

The high failure rate, which everyone accepts as given, is another term used instead of ‘productivity crisis.’

The CBCD believes that the high failure rate and the productivity crisis are not ‘given.’ They are not set in stone. There is a way to overcome the low rates of R&D success. There is a new technology called ‘Computer Intuition’ that can help pharmaceutical companies to fill their empty pipelines, increase overall profits, satisfy investors, and reduce costs to society.

What is ‘Computer Intuition?’

‘Computer Intuition’ is a psycholinguistic-based data-mining program that analyzes scientific text and helps scientists discover new therapeutic features of chemical entities.
In September 2013, the medical journal Pharmacology & Pharmacy, in a special edition on Advances in Antiviral Drugs, published a clinical study, which showed that the dietary supplement Gene-Eden-VIR is safe and effective. Gene-Eden-VIR was developed using ‘Computer Intuition.’ The results of this clinical study show that ‘Computer Intuition’ can predict clinical results.

“In 1996…a prototype of a psycholinguistic-based data-mining program that analyzes scientific text and assigns a rating to all ideas found in the text” was completed (3). “The higher the rating, the more (‘Computer Intuition’) hints at future events (3).”

“The following is a description of one prospective application of Computer Intuition. In 1995, Frederiksen published a paper entitled: Diagnostic Imaging in Dental Implantology. At the time, Frederiksen was one of the world leading experts on the subject. To test the pre-dictive power of the Computer Intuition analysis, Almog and Heisler from the University of Rochester devised a test. They conducted a Medline search for papers published between 1980 and 1996 using keywords relevant to the subject of diagnostics, imaging, and dental implantology. The search identified 34 papers. The content of these papers was analyzed with Computer Intuition. The analysis produced three ideas. Two ideas were identical to the main conclusions described in Frederik-sen’s paper. This, by itself, was an impressive achievement. By using Computer Intuition, Almog and Heisler duplicated the results of a world leading expert quickly and inexpensively. However, while it took Frederiksen decades to build his expertise, Almog and Heisler acquired similar expertise within weeks (3).”

The authors of the study went on to note that the third idea suggested by Computer Intuition was a new technology. “This technology was not mentioned in Frederiksen’s paper. The three ideas were published in 1997. How predictive was the Computer Intuition analysis? In 2006, Almog, Frederiksen, and four colleagues, published a survey of the academic and commercial field of diagnostic imaging in oral implantology. In their paper, they reported an interesting observation. Beginning in 2000, three years after the publication of the Computer Intuition paper, ‘numerous companies from technology-transfer and commercial standpoint have introduced technology platforms that offer planning and guidance systems to facilitate dental implant placement procedures’, the same technology proposed by the third idea three years earlier (3).”

The CBCD invites pharmaceutical executives to contact the Center to learn more about ‘Computer Intuition’ and how this forward thinking technology can help provide higher returns on investment, and be implemented as part of their R&D efforts.

We invite the media to contact us for interviews at: info (at)buy-gene-eden(dot)com or phone 585-250-9999.

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References:

(1)    http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/520441/a-tale-of-two-drugs/
(2)    http://www.nature.com/nrd/journal/v11/n3/full/nrd3681.html
(3)    http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=36101

The Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease (CBCD, http://www.cbcd.net) is a research center recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) non-for-profit organization. The mission of the CBCD is to advance the research on the biology of chronic diseases, and to accelerate the discovery of treatments.

The CBCD published the “Purple” book by Dr. Hanan Polansky. The book presents Dr. Polansky’s highly acclaimed scientific theory on the relationship between foreign DNA and the onset of chronic diseases. Dr. Polansky’s book is available as a free download from the CBCD website.

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Hanan Polansky
Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease (CBCD)
+1 (585) 250-9999
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