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May 7, 2019

Changing demands in global healthcare over the past 15 years have led to greater complexity and spiralling costs in drug development. The average price tag of taking a new drug from discovery to completion of Phase III clinical trials is now $2.87 billion (1), which means informed decisions need to be made early on about which compounds to pursue.

AstraZeneca’s new R&D framework, termed the ‘5Rs’, has introduced an increased scientific rigour and emphasis on quality, driving an almost five-fold increase in R&D productivity. AstraZeneca has surpassed the industry norm in recent years, moving from a 4% success rate in molecules progressing from candidate nomination to completion of Phase III trials in 2010, to more than 19% in 2017 (2).

In our pursuit for continual improvement, the question now becomes how far can we push an even greater improvement in drug discovery productivity? One approach is by adopting new and evolving preclinical technologies to further improve clinical translation and reduce clinical attrition.

Original article by Dr Lorna Ewart, Dr Richard Goodwin, Dr Stephen E. Fawell, Dr Pernille Hansen, Dr Catherine Priestley, Steve Rees, & Dr Menelas Pangalos

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