The In the Pipeline blog this morning has a post entitled, "The NIH's New Drug Discovery Center: Heading into the Swamp?" That would seem to capture his thougts well on the chances of the Center making a transformational difference in drug discovery area. I think his concluding blog post paragraph sums it up well:
...So, reluctantly, I'll make a prediction: if years of effort and billions of dollars thrown after genetic target-based drug discovery hasn't worked out, when done by people strongly motivated to make money off their work, then an NIH center focused on the same stuff will, in all likelihood, add very little more. It's not like they won't stay busy. That sort of work can soak up all the time and money that you can throw at it. And it will.
This seems to represent a majority pharma industry consensus and may also be shared by some significant percentage of the NIH as a whole. Time will tell if Collins is visionary or father of an academic funding boondoggle.
Posted by Bruce Lehr Feb 1st 2011.