If being able to remember the ‘unusual’ names of medicines is an indicator of their impact on society, then drugs like penicillin, insulin, ether, aspirin and morphine achieve top marks.
But these medicines are mature and relatively old in drug-years. So what about the next generation and where are the innovations likely to come from?
According to professor Nigel Titchener-Hooker, the next decade will see biologically derived therapies – or ‘biologics’ – dominate the treatment landscape.
In 2013, eight of the top ten selling drugs worldwide were biologics products manufactured in a living system such as a microorganism, plant or animal cell.
Most biologics – including the top sellers, Humira, Enbrel and Remicade – are very large, complex molecules produced using recombinant DNA technology.
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