Virus as Viable Drug - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Virus as Viable Drug
Coincidence or phenomena? The reovirus is Mother Nature's own cancer-killer.

Pharmaceutical Executive


As Oncolytics goes further along in clinical trials, it becomes more of a target for acquisition. What's your expectation for how the landscape will change?

Lehman Brothers just conducted a study that revealed around an eight percent annual aggregate revenue growth rate for the next 15 years every year for the pharmaceutical industry. To achieve that, Big Pharma has to get a drug approval a week, every week, for 15 years—and sell it for three-quarters of a billion dollars or more a year.

That's impossible with Big Pharma's internal research programs. And it's virtually impossible anyway because the FDA only approves about 25 drugs a year.

But Big Pharma's internal research programs are increasingly looking outside their own internal labs. Now, they've done partnering relationships for a long time, but not necessarily by desire.

There were some exceptions: Roche, for example, which has historically been ahead of the curve, and Johnson & Johnson, which for a long time was very aggressive about partnering. But they were anomalies.

But now Big Pharma is asking if it is cheaper to buy or partner. And increasingly, they are saying it's better to spend an extra couple hundred million today than it is to spend $5 billion five years from now when it's a top-seller and you have to buy them out anyway, which was the old model—partner then buy. In the last year, we've seen buying or partnering, not partnering then buying.

Bradley Thompson is the chairman, CEO, president, and co-founder of Oncolytics Biotech, an Alberta, Canada-based company that is developing an oncovirus as a cancer therapeutic. He held a simlar title at his previous stint at Synsorb Biotech, which developed drugs for infectious diseases and cancer. Throughout his career, Thompson also held positions as the head of program development of the Alberta Research Council and senior biotechnologist at Gemini Biochemical Research. Thompson graduated in 1981 from the University of Western Ontario with a PhD from the department of microbiology and immunology.


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