At GSK, we're committed to following where the science leads us.
Unlike traditional R&D, where we first choose a disease and then develop a drug to treat it, we take an unblinkered approach. We look at what the science is showing us, without bias, and challenge ourselves to look deeply at the data to make sure we are thinking broadly enough and don’t miss any opportunities. This ‘disease-agnostic’ approach can lead to interesting surprises and disease areas we weren’t previously thinking about.
For instance, earlier this year we held a B Cell Summit in New York, which brought together world-leading experts in rheumatology, dermatology, nephrology and many other fields. Instead of a traditional advisory board, we took a unique approach by sharing all our basic and clinical findings with the external experts and in turn listening to their data presentations on the B cell pathway. Then we asked the question of where it makes sense to look next? This resulted in a tremendous exchange of scientific ideas. As a direct result of the B Cell Summit, a number of supported studies are being progressed in various indications including inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune hepatitis, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and a whole range of other diseases.
Following the science
By following the science, we hope to reduce the industry-wide failure rate for drugs in development, which currently stands at over 90%. This just isn’t a sustainable number from an industry perspective, or a patient care perspective, and it means there aren’t enough treatments coming through. If we could bring that rate down, even just a little, it would have an enormous impact on patients.
I’m very excited about our pipeline and our ability to make better risk-based decisions earlier on by linking certain pathways with specific diseases. Bringing new medicines to patients with autoimmune conditions requires many different functions and so collaborations are vital both at GSK and with external partners.
Just like in my own project team, I like to think of us all working together as an organism or, indeed like the immune system itself. Our shared goal of helping as many patients as possible holds us together and I’m excited for what the future holds as we reveal the beautiful complexity of the immune system.