Glaxo R&D Chief Offers A Progress Report

Glaxo R&D Chief Offers A Progress Report

October 11th, 2011 // 1:22 pm @

Every so often, an update appears on how GlaxoSmithKline is faring with its so-called DPUs. These are known inside the drugmaker as drug performance units and were formed in 2008 to prompt the R&D folks to think differently about their budgets, goals and performance (back story). The upshot: every three years, they make a pitch for funds from the overall R&D treasury, and now the second cycle is about to begin.

With that in mind, R&D chief Moncef Slaoui offers a progress report to The Wall Street Journal, saying that “we moved from an organization where all the key decisions that defined the long-term future of the company were made by two, three, perhaps even five people, and we had five centers of excellence for drug discovery, to now 38 people.”

He offers a few numbers: Glaxo is targeting a return on investment of about 14 percent from its R&D spending on meds over time, up from 11 percent. Meanwhile, the budget for pharmaceutical R&D fell from about $5 billion to $4.4 billion, and the amount devoted to drug discovery fell to 38 percent from about 60 percent five years ago. Meanwhile, drug development rose to 62 percent from 40 percent.

One another point he makes is that he views 50 external partnerships as equivalent to the 38 DPUs. These have fixed cost, he notes, but the expense associated with the partnerships is of a more “limited” nature, “for which cost is based on success,” he tells the paper. Like others, he has embraced a pharma model largely predicated on Hollywood – rely less on your own studio for the hits.

Source: Pharmalot

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