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Big Pharma Needs Luck

Deepak Singh at bbgm ponders an article he read in the Financial Times that pairs drug discovery and serendipity. There is a role for serendipity in drug discovery, but the declining productivity of the pharma industry is not necessarily due to lazy scientists who can't innovate, he says. Systems biology is tough -- and managing and understanding all the data from these experiments is no easy task. "I will agree on one thing, though; pharma has to move away from rigid planning faster and towards the proof of concept/first in man approaches that many are now beginning to take," he writes.

To add flames to the fire, In the Pipeline reports on more layoffs at GSK, this time in the oncology group, by about 40 percent of its staff. "It looks like the company is moving one by one through its Centers of Excellence in Drug Discovery (CEDDs) and running a most excellent scythe through them," writes Derek Lowe.

 

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.