GlaxoSmithKline puts focus on bringing drugs to market faster
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GlaxoSmithKline puts focus on bringing drugs to market faster

According to Luke Miels, drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)’s head of pharmaceuticals, it’s time to take the foot off the break when it comes to getting drugs to market. Miels recently told reporters that the “old days” of “doing one thing at a time” are now gone, and that GSK and other players in the space should funnel money into the most promising developmental routes and fast-track them to market.

GSK’s share price has appreciated by 5% so far this year

GSK July 3

Source: Yahoo Finance

In an interview, Miels said: “In the past, 10 programmes were chosen, a budget for eight was allocated. Usually what happened was that time was the trade-off that was made. Now what we do is we pick five or six programmes, and concentrate investment there.” Doing that properly means conducting multiple trials on different groups of people at different facilities around the world – something that GSK rarely had to worry about in the “old days”. Miels explains: “Rather than do things sequentially, you do them in parallel, or as close to parallel as possible.”

GSK is Britain’s biggest drug maker, and a global force in the pharmaceutical industry. But powerful rivals in China and the US remain a threat – GSK is pushing for speed in order to remain competitive. Miels says that this is particularly important in a world where US legislators and medical insurers are taking a tougher stance on drug prices.

And it is also relevant given the rapid growth in the Chinese market, which is spurring a more sophisticated healthcare system. As a result of that system, a number of Chinese biotech groups have emerged that are quickly catching up to established western giants.

Disclosure

Dominion holds GlaxoSmithKline in its Global Trends Managed Fund.


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