July 19, 2011: Allan B. Haberman, Ph.D. led a pre-conference workshop, entitled “Developing Improved Animal Models in Oncology and CNS Diseases to Increase Drug Discovery and Development Capabilities” at Hanson Wade’s World Drug Targets Summit (July 20-21, 2011, Cambridge, MA).

The workshop was a discussion of four case studies involving development of novel animal models in oncology and CNS diseases (one zebrafish cancer model, two mouse cancer models, and one mouse autism model), aimed at more closely modeling human disease than current models. Drug discovery and development in these therapeutic areas has been severely hampered by animal models that are poorly predictive of efficacy. This is a major cause of clinical attrition.

We discussed the implications of these case studies for developing novel therapeutic strategies, target identification and validation, drug discovery, preclinical studies, and reducing clinical attrition.

June 1, 2011: Cambridge Healthtech Institute (CHI) announced the publication of a new book-length report, Multitargeted Therapies: Promiscuous Drugs and Combination Therapies, by Allan B. Haberman, Ph.D.

In the past 20 years, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry R&D has been increasingly aimed at developing drugs to treat complex diseases. However, the one drug-one target-one disease paradigm that has become dominant in the post-genomic era has proven to be inadequate to address complex diseases, which have multiple “causes”. Moreover, researchers have found that most of the successful, FDA-approved small-molecule drugs that were developed prior to the year 2000 are promiscuous, i.e., they are single drugs that address multiple targets. The great majority of kinase inhibitors, one of the most successful drug classes of the early 21st century, are also promiscuous.

Meanwhile, the development of targeted drugs such as kinase inhibitors and monoclonal antibodies has resulted in the need to develop multitargeted combination therapies. This has been especially true in cancer, where disease causation may involve multiple signaling pathways. In particular, the development of resistance to targeted antitumor drugs has spawned the need to develop second-generation treatments, many of which are multitargeted combination therapies.

This new Insight Pharma Report covers both discovery and design of small-molecule promiscuous/multitargeted drugs, and of multitargeted combination therapies.

For more information on the report, or to order it, see the CHI Insight Pharma Reports website.