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Researchers find public sector research responsible for many new drug discoveries
Date:2/9/2011

and vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and classified them according to their therapeutic category and potential therapeutic effect. The researchers found that during the past 30 years, 153 new FDA-approved drugs, vaccines, or new indications for existing drugs were discovered through research carried out in PSRIs. These drugs included 93 small-molecule drugs, 36 biologic agents, 15 vaccines, eight in-vivo diagnostic materials, and one over-the-counter drug. Current and former Boston University researchers were responsible for four of those 153 new drugs, one of which was developed based on research conducted at the University and Boston Medical Center.

"We believe that our study supports the concept that the emergence of biotechnology in the mid-1970s, combined with policy changes implemented in the early 1980s regarding the ownership and management of the intellectual property of PSRIs, allowed these institutions to play an important role in the downstream, applied phase of drug discovery," said lead author Ashley J. Stevens, D.Phil (Oxon), CLP, a lecturer at BUSM as well as Special Assistant to the Vice President for Research, Technology Development and a Senior Research Associate, ITEC, SMG. He is also currently the President of the Association of University Technology Managers.

According to the researchers, the data also suggest that PSRIs tend to discover drugs that have a disproportionately important clinical effect. "Slightly over half of these drugs were for the treatment or prevention of cancer or infectious diseases. Furthermore, drugs discovered by PSRIs received Priority Review by the FDA at twice the rate as for all FDA drug approvals, indicating that PSRI discovered drugs were expected to have a disproportionately high therapeutic impact," added Stevens.

"We hope our research will help inform the amplified conversation taking place around innovation policy in the US and abroad," said co-author Jona
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Contact: Gina DiGravio
gina.digravio@bmc.org
617-638-8480
Boston University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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