According to Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development Director Kenneth Kaitin, pharmaceutical company leaders reported during a recent roundtable that teaming with external partners has allowed them to increase the molecular entities entering Phase I trials while decreasing study times and raising Phase II success rates. Kaitin said, “Drug developers have gotten the message that they need to innovate ‘better, faster, and cheaper’—without sacrificing patient safety—and partnering is proving to be an effective strategy. By aligning with others, drug developers are hoping to accelerate the translation of scientific findings into new medicines.”

Industry executives also apparently reported that technology scout organizations are helping them identify technologies and platforms that are not currently being commercialized and that “umbrella agreements” with large academic institutions have enabled developers to expand their relationships with individual researchers allowing the identification of scientific advances with marketing potential. Companies are also apparently engaging in trial sharing, that is, two companies share the same Phase I trials, enabling developers to quickly determine “whether joint administration of their compounds can enhance therapeutic outcomes.” See Tufts University News Release, October 6, 2011.