• Open Access

Drug Design and Discovery: Translational Biomedical Science Varies Among Countries

Authors

  • Ian N. Weaver B.Sc.,

    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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  • Donald F. Weaver M.D., Ph.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    2. Department of Medicine (Neurology), Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    3. Department of Chemistry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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Abstract

Drug design and discovery is an innovation process that translates the outcomes of fundamental biomedical research into therapeutics that are ultimately made available to people with medical disorders in many countries throughout the world. To identify which nations succeed, exceed, or fail at the drug design/discovery endeavor—more specifically, which countries, within the context of their national size and wealth, are “pulling their weight” when it comes to developing medications targeting the myriad of diseases that afflict humankind—we compiled and analyzed a comprehensive survey of all new drugs (small molecular entities and biologics) approved annually throughout the world over the 20-year period from 1991 to 2010. Based upon this analysis, we have devised prediction algorithms to ascertain which countries are successful (or not) in contributing to the worldwide need for effective new therapeutics.

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