DIA 2018

The nexus of innovation, policy improvements changing at never-before-seen pace: DIA

By Melissa Fassbender

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags DIA Innovation Regulation Policy Drug discovery Market access

Cross-industry discussion is expanding from early discovery to post-licensing challenges – as the nexus of innovation and policy improvements is rapidly changing, says DIA executive.

Early patient engagement, regulatory science, translational medicine, and sustainable access to medicines were among the key topics of this year’s DIA 2018 Global Annual Meeting.

To learn more, we sat down with Barbara Lopez Kunz, chief global executive, DIA, at the meeting, which took place June 24-28 in Boston, MA.

“We’re at a really interesting time in health care,”​ said Lopez Kunz, “where the nexus of innovation and the nexus of regulatory policy improvements is changing at a pace that we haven’t seen before.”

With this foundation, Lopez Kunz said DIA has become even more relevant, as discussions expand from early discovery to post-license issues, including sustainable access to medicines – the “big topic”​ on everybody’s mind.

She also noted the importance of having not only good science, “but good collaboration around the world … Because there is no need to reinvent the wheel.”

However, the industry continues to face criticism over its failure rate, with nearly nine out of 10 drugs failing before making it to market​.

“The fact is, you have to learn and you have to better understand the biology to be able to design those new therapies,”​ said Lopez Kunz.

“Every increment of knowledge leads you to an every increasing understanding around how to target and how to design the right kinds of therapies … And unlike other parts of our world, other industries, as you learn more, the predecessor discoveries are no longer relevant.”

As such, pharmaceuticals do not have a product lifecycle in which the previous version continues to be a “commercially viable entity,”​ she explained.

“So this is a real issue, and it’s all wrapped up in the problem around cost and sustainability.”

To hear Kunz Lopez discuss more these topics in further detail, watch the full interview in the video above.

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