Lilly Chair: Pharma's future is personalized meds

The future of pharma rests not with blockbusters, but with genetically targeted therapies, says Sidney Taurel (photo), Eli Lilly's chairman and former CEO. Taurel spoke at a luncheon at Arizona State University's business school yesterday.

According to Taurel, the typical drug currently on the market is effecive for only 50 percent of patients. But, says the industry veteran, a "revolution of healthcare" is underway. Big drug companies continue to develop trials to test drugs on smaller groups of patients. A more efficient approach, not only is does this cost the companies less, but it will eventually yield more effective drugs.

Yet the adoption of personalized medicine moves at a much slower pace than some had expected after the completion of the Human Genome Project. The task of identifying precise genetic markers tied to specific diseases being more complex than researchers imagined.  "This effort did not reveal the master code that some people had hoped for," Taurel said.

- read The Arizona Republic article for more