Of the many issues that contribute to the pharmaceutical industry's productivity problems, biases in the drug discovery and development (DDD) process should be included on the list. The dominant bias pervading the early DDD process is the requirement to identify and develop a commercializable molecule, long before the importance of the target in human disease is understood. That requirement filters out many potentially valuable projects. By changing the emphasis from identifying a commercializable molecule to using molecular tools to test the relevance of the mechanism in humans, the projected number of proofs of concept and subsequent launches could increase up to fivefold. Because this tool paradigm requires resources, one consideration is to form a consortium to share the burden, benefiting both the industry and patients in need.
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