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Public sector findings drive many new drug discoveries, say experts


Public sector research is responsible for many more new drug discoveries than previously believed, a respected publication says.

Authors of the ‘special article’ in the New England Journal of Medicine believe that the traditional view of public sector research institutions as being largely separate from drug discovery is out of date, and that public sector findings positively impact public health much faster than previously appreciated.

Researchers from Boston University School’s of Medicine (BUSM),Management and Law, along with collaborators from theNational Institutes of Health, explain that, historically,public sector research institutions (PSRI) have not participated in anymajor way in the downstream, applied phase of drug discovery, in whichthe actual products are discovered and patented.

However, since themid-1970s, the newly emerging tools of biotechnology have allowed PSRIs tocreate and patent biologic drug candidates and discover and patentsmall molecule drugs.

At that time, all products created in academicinstitutions were owned by the government, which granted onlynonexclusive licenses.

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