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European Biopharmaceutical Review

The Biotech Juggling Act

The completed sequencing of the human genome was a tremendous achievement but only 30 months later, the long-term knock on to the drug discovery industry is becoming apparent. The prediction is that by 2005 about half of all new products will come out of biotech; presumably this is why there are over 4,000 biotech-focused companies (approximately 10 per cent of which are public) out there.

Throughout these organisations computer-based research studies are increasing, and notably they are developing independently of the laboratory. Well-integrated information systems (IS) may one day develop into the primary R&D environment, with analytical laboratories reduced to a secondary role of investigative analysis and manufacturing. Consequently, I find myself wondering: how long before computer-based research overhauls traditional biological research and development?

Before I cause too much anxiety in the wet laboratory-based scientific community, let me elucidate what I mean by computer-based research. My view is that it includes, but is not restricted to, what many of you may already be thinking, namely the growing field of bioinformatics.


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By Geoff Parker, Commercial Director at Scimcon

Geoff Parker is Commercial Director at scientific information management consultancy Scimcon, where he is responsible for global sales and customer support. Geoff has a particular focus on data management strategy consultancy and enjoys a hands-on role advising clients on their information system requirements and system selection.

Before joining Scimcon in June 2000, Geoff spent two years with laboratory information system provider Thermo LabSystems. Prior to working in the lab information systems field, Geoff had a background in chemistry, working as a Technical Chemist, after which he spent five years working for a major technology supplier.

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