Title: Impact of the life sciences on organisation and management of R&D in large pharmaceutical firms

Authors: James Mittra

Addresses: ESRC Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genomics (INNOGEN), University of Edinburgh, Old Surgeon's Hall, High School Yards, Edinburgh EH1 1LZ, UK

Abstract: The life sciences are having a significant impact on the organisation and management of R&D in large pharmaceutical firms, as well as restructuring the markets for new therapeutic products. However, there is continuing scepticism about large firms| ability or inclination to build in-house capacity for biologics and extract value from the life sciences. This paper explores the effect of life science innovation on early and late-stage R&D, and considers the implications for strategic management and the transition of compounds through the middle stages of the R&D pathway. The analysis, which includes two company case studies, reveals that new life science technologies have had a marginal impact on late-stage R&D, but companies are exploring new organisational or translational models to better exploit the science and reduce the phase 2 attrition rates. Findings suggest that firms have the capability to adapt to a new innovation trajectory, but external pressures on strategic and organisational management will continue to determine the level and rate of success.

Keywords: pharmaceutical industry; life sciences; innovation; strategic management; R&D; translational medicine; biotechnology; organisation; research and development; therapeutic products.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBT.2008.021308

International Journal of Biotechnology, 2008 Vol.10 No.5, pp.416 - 440

Available online: 18 Nov 2008

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