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12:00 AM
 | 
Jan 26, 2009
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Targets lead Novartis to MDx

The new molecular diagnostics business unit at Novartis AG is the next logical step in a drug discovery strategy focused on pathways and targets that was initiated with the hiring of Mark Fishman to head the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in 2002. By developing companion diagnostics for targeted therapies, the pharma expects to be better able to navigate a world in which payers will be looking to limit the use of high-priced drugs to those patients most likely to benefit from them.

According to David Epstein, who is heading the new unit, Novartis believes that the future of drug development and reimbursement requires sound diagnostic tools for disease diagnosis, pharmacogenetic analysis and prediction of disease progression.

"In the future, the market will not accept drugs that are not right for the right patients. Companies that do it in a good way will have an advantage and those that don't will be squeezed out," Epstein told BioCentury. "They have to have certainty that they are paying for...

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