De-risking Drug Development

Metabolism-based causes of drug attrition must be tackled through intelligent and early risk mitigation strategies.

By Guy Weber, Scientific Manager for In Vitro and Drug-Drug Interaction Sciences, Envigo, UK.

December 2017

Risk management has become an important discipline for firms developing new prescription drugs. It is said that only one of the 10,000 molecules entering drug discovery will ultimately reach the market – and, even then, it is not certain that expensive development costs will be recouped.

There can be few industries where the risk of failure is higher than in the drug development sector. Is it possible to shorten the odds a little? I believe so, but we need to understand the causes of drug attrition and deploy appropriate resources to gauge the level of associated risk. In short, we need to get better at identifying molecules that have a better chance of surviving the development process.