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An Examination of Technology Strategies for the Integration of Bioinformatics in Pharmaceutical R&D Processes




Bioinformatics is the use of computers for the storage, recall and analysis of data derived from scientific research aimed at providing answers to biological questions. Increasingly pharmaceutical firms are choosing to incorporate bioinformatics into their drug research and development (R&D) programs. Based on examination of recent literature and case studies of a cross section of the pharmaceutical industry and research community, this research concludes the following key points: Bioinformatics has been widely accepted as a new core competency for pharmaceutical research. Pharmaceutical firms are broadening their competencies to different extents to access new technologies. Integrated bioinformatics systems are systemic innovations and require strong in-house capabilities, however bioinformatics tools may also be used in an autonomous manner. Thus two groups of industrial users are emerging: those who use bioinformatics tools piecemeal and those who are attempting to integrate these tools into systems. Integration poses a complex set of technical and organisational problems, but may enable high throughput programs for drug discovery that optimise resources more effectively and thus provide competitive advantages. Such integrated systems must be tailor-made and are possible only through gaining competencies that are difficult to replicate. Additionally in this study theoretical frameworks are used to map technological change in the pharmaceutical process, showing how barriers to innovation and limiting steps within the R&D process are changing as a result of bioinformatics.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael M. Hopkins, 1999. "An Examination of Technology Strategies for the Integration of Bioinformatics in Pharmaceutical R&D Processes," SPRU Working Paper Series 32, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  • Handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:32

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    More about this item


    bioinformatics; pharmaceutical industry; R&D; research and development; innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • L65 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Chemicals; Rubber; Drugs; Biotechnology; Plastics
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights


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