AACR, Author Interviews / 25.04.2015

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Neel S. Madhukar Graduate student in the lab of Olivier Elemento, PhD, Associate Professor Head, Laboratory of Cancer Systems Biology Department of Physiology and Biophysics Institute for Computational Biomedicine Weill Cornell Medical College Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: It takes on average 2.6 billion dollars and 10-15 years to develop a single new drug. Despite massive investment in drug discovery by pharmaceutical companies, the number of drugs obtaining FDA approval each year has remained constant over the past decade. One of biggest bottlenecks in the process of developing a new drug is to understand precisely how a drug works, that is, what it binds to in cells, how it binds, and what it does when it is bound. This process is collectively called target identification and characterization of mechanisms of action. At present, target identification is a slow and failure-prone process, driven by laborious experimentation. Every time we seek to develop a new drug, such laborious experimentation needs to be redone from scratch. We are not learning from data acquired from our past successes and failures. (more…)