Fierce Biotech reported yesterday on Merck's announcment that it has established a global network of research centers to attack cancer. The idea is to create new approaches to increase speed of discovery of cancer drugs and vaccines.
The part of the report that caught my eye was Merck's citation of an Institute of Medicine study that concluded that it took more than 2 years to get the "typical" cancer study designed, approved and activated. And my favorite stat - only 50% are ever completed! I guess that is an example of being half-fast.
Merck is trying to speed up the process by recruiting participating centers of excellence with core strengths in biomarkers, information technology and adaptive study design. The new Merck network stretches from Brazil to Norway and only time will allow us to assess whether this network model will actually speed the process.
Posted by Bruce Lehr June 5th 2010