The first of a 20 article series from the Yale Center for Molecular Discovery was just published electronically in the journal, Drug Discovery Today. This report details the process used to identify all 1453 NMEs approved by FDA through the end of 2013. The earliest NMEs pre-date the creation of FDA (and its precursors) in 1906 and include morphine (first introduced in 1827) and aspirin (first introduced in 1899).

To the surprise of the authors, each of the stories that will unfold in Drug Discovery Today has conveyed unexpected, and sometimes rather provocative, information about past drug development with implications for the future of the enterprise.

For this first article, it was determined that while the rate of new drug development has been continuously growing, mergers and acquisitions has changed the landscape, particularly over the past two decades. For example, Eli Lilly controlled the largest numbers of NMEs from the onset of the modern pharmaceutical industry (in the 1940s) through the 1990s. In contrast, Pfizer was not to be found among the top five pharmaceutical companies in terms of the number of NMEs controlled. In recent times, Lilly largely did not participate in the remodeling of the industry via mergers and acquisitions. Consequently, Pfizer now controls more than four-times the numbers of NMEs. Read full article here.

In parallel with the mergers and acquisitions involving established pharmaceutical innovators, the past two decades have witnessed the rapid rise of a sub-industry of biopharmaceutical enterprise focused almost entirely on marketing and distribution. Led by companies such as Valeant, these marketing organizations largely lack internal experience in drug discovery, research and development. Such companies convey financial efficiencies but raise questions about how and who will conduct early-stage discovery, research and development in the future.

As new articles are published, this blog will provide highlights of each.

For those interested in working with the Yale Center of Molecular Discovery, either for developing novel screens for the FDA collection or participating in data analyses, please contact Dr. Michael Kinch at


By Michael Kinch

Dr. Michael Kinch, of Madison, CT, has led the Yale Center for Molecular Discovery on the Yale West Campus in West Haven, CT since 2010.   As a brief background, Dr. Kinch was a tenured professor at Purdue University focused on monoclonal antibody targeting of breast and prostate cancer metastasis. In 2001, he was recruited to found and lead the Department of Cancer Biology and later in parallel, the Department of Translational Sciences at MedImmune Inc., a biotechnology company located in Gaithersburg, MD. He left MedImmune in 2006 to head research at development at Functional Genetics, Inc., also in Gaithersburg, MD prior to joining Yale. Dr Kinch has published more than 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts and is an inventor on more than a dozen US-issued and 100 published patents.

Yale Center for Molecular Discovery