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Number Crunch Not Enough Information

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Lee Babiss, head of preclinical R&D for Hoffman-LaRoche, told an audience at the Genome Tri-Conference in February that between 1996 and 1999, big pharma doubled the number of targets under scrutiny. But the new flood of targets is not accompanied by a flood of data. Each target is much less documented with literature references than in the past, he says.

Percent of targets in the typical pharmaceutical company’s portfolio that are culled from the scientific literature: 90

Average references in the literature for each target investigated in 1990: 100

Average references per target investigated in 2001: 8

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