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12:00 AM
Nov 22, 2004
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Wyeth: Paint by numbers

One of the presumed advantages of big pharma's size is that it can take multiple shots on goal, but one of the downsides of large organizations is lack of efficiency. Wyeth has upped its R&D throughput since 2000 through the simple expedient of demanding that its scientists come up with the number of compounds required to keep the pipeline full.

Whether this will translate into more marketed products remains to be seen. But for four consecutive years, WYE's research group has presented 12 compounds for clinical development per year, compared to three compounds per year during the 1990s.

WYE (Madison, N.J.) got there by working backward from the goal of submitting two marketing applications per year for new molecular entities. Assuming a 60% success rate in Phase III, the company calculated that it needed to have three to four compounds reach Phase III each year.

In turn, the company says it must file eight INDs for Phase I trials each year. The eight INDs are selected from a prerequisite of 12 new "Phase 0" compounds per year presented by the discovery group. The company did not...

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