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No Imagination

Is innovation becoming a lost art in the pharmaceutical industry? A new survey of 282 pharmaceutical executives, done at the behest of clinical research organization Quintiles, found that 54 percent consider innovation to be a leading priority and 49 percent rank their overall innovation strategy as, at best, moderately effective, says Pharmalot's Ed Silverman. Sixteen percent of the executives agreed that improving innovation was the most important priority for success, and 38 percent considered it among the top priorities. Seven percent said change wasn't even needed. Almost half of those surveyed said cost was a major impediment to improving innovation strategies, Silverman says, while others cited lack of time and overly restrictive regulatory standards. "In biopharma, academic research was cited as the second most common source of ideas over the coming three years — 38 percent, to be exact," Silverman says. "Internal R&D remains the leading source of innovation as a whole, cited by 60 percent, but over the next three years, just 46 percent of the execs say internal R&D will be a good source." So how does a company go about creating an environment of innovation? Rewards are a good idea, Silverman says. The survey respondents who considered themselves "innovation leaders" said they offer financial rewards for innovative ideas.

The Scan

Drug Response Variants May Be Distinct in Somatic, Germline Samples

Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.

Breast Cancer Risk Gene Candidates Found by Multi-Ancestry Low-Frequency Variant Analysis

Researchers narrowed in on new and known risk gene candidates with variant profiles for almost 83,500 individuals with breast cancer and 59,199 unaffected controls in Genome Medicine.

Health-Related Quality of Life Gets Boost After Microbiome-Based Treatment for Recurrent C. Diff

A secondary analysis of Phase 3 clinical trial data in JAMA Network Open suggests an investigational oral microbiome-based drug may lead to enhanced quality of life measures.

Study Follows Consequences of Early Confirmatory Trials for Accelerated Approval Indications

Time to traditional approval or withdrawal was shorter when confirmatory trials started prior to accelerated approval, though overall regulatory outcomes remained similar, a JAMA study finds.