UC consortium formed to speed up development of new drugs

For 12 years, UCLA researcher Dennis Slamon pursued a groundbreaking approach to treating breast cancer: Attack the disease genetically.The journey was long and filled with obstacles, but his persistence paid off.Slamon and colleagues conducted laboratory and clinical research that, in collaboration with biotechnology firm Genentech, helped lead to development of the breast cancer drug Herceptin.UCLA's Dennis Slamon with Harry Connick Jr., who played the professor of medicine in a 2008 television movie.The drug, which targets a specific genetic alteration found in about 25 percent of breast cancer patients, has saved thousands of women ’s lives. Lifetime even made a movie based on Slamon’s struggles, “Living Proof,” starring Harry Connick Jr.But not all drug discovery efforts have a Hollywood ending.The odds of developing a blockbuster drug are slim. Thousands of compounds are screened, and only about one  in 10 drugs that survive the initial stages to enter clinical trials eventually receives approval. The road from discovery to drug product can take more than a decade and cost more than $2 billion.How can the drug discovery process be improved?The newly launched University of California Drug Discovery Consortium aims to tackle that problem by working together as a UC system to speed and increase development of a range of drugs to help patients. This not only could help generate life-saving treatments, but also create significant economic activit...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

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