Drug development is a risky business, with an estimated 90 percent of compounds that enter clinical trials ultimately failing to reach the market.
Governments, academic groups and drugmakers have been seeking to improve those odds through partnerships that bring together the expertise of scientists in a broad array of fields, from biology to genomics. The goal is to identify biological targets for drugs and weed out failures before they reach human testing.
The latest such initiative comes from GlaxoSmithKline Plc, the European Bioinformatics Institute and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, all based in the U.K. The partners will establish the new Centre for Therapeutic Target Validation, to be located near Cambridge, England. By harnessing the latest advances in genomics and the growing ability to gather and analyze large sums of biological data, they seek to eliminate development of drugs that target the wrong biological pathways, pre-empting billions of dollars of wasted research spending.