A joint study produced by the consulting firm Deloitte and the news agency Thomson Reuters estimated that the average cost to bring a pharmaceutical to market was around $1.1 Billion in 2012 . Wow! That is a huge amount of money. But, when you look deeper into the numbers, it is easy to see how the average cost can skyrocket. Included in that estimate are all of the drug failures -- not just the successes! The best way to bring down the cost of drug development is to increase the chances of success. This is obviously easier said than done, and traditional drug development pipelines are being modified and challenged every day to improve efficiency.
In fact, biological engineering has begun to play a significant role in reshaping the face of drug development. Companies such as Merrimack Pharmaceuticals and Selventa are utilizing Systems Biology approaches to design drugs based upon mathematical modeling of intracellular signaling networks. If you have taken (or are currently enrolled in!) 20.320, you are likely pretty familiar with cell signaling -- especially the EGFR signaling network.
In this module, we will utilize a high throughput screening (HTS) approach to study how information flows through the EGFR signaling network.