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A Report on High-Throughput Technologies: Summit and Exposition
June 19-21 in Philadelphia, PA, sponsored by Cambridge Healthtech Institute
The title, borrowed from Doug Livingston of Novartis Research Foundation (3115 Merryfield Row, Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92121- 1125; Tel: 858/812-1574, Fax: 858/812-1584) reflects the current condition of the drug-discovery industry. That cornucopia of new chemical entities being constructed by combinatorial chemistry has yet to yield many FDA-approved drugs, so the ultimate payoff is not quite in sight. Despite Star Wars robotics that promises 100,000 assays a day, wholesale drug discovery is bogged down somewhere between compound synthesis and clinical trials.
The buzzword of the conference was "de-bottlenecking," an egregious neologism that implies a negation of the verb "to bottleneck (as in: I bottleneck, he bottlenecks, they are bottlenecking, we should be de-bottlenecking).
Now that the robots have been deployed, the slow point in drug development, by common consensus, is assay development. According to a number of companies, this problem can be fixed if you …