Drug discovery and development is hard. It can easily take 15-20 years to get to market from the time a new drug is identified, and throughout that period the risk of failure is high. Even drugs that make it past most of the hurdles can end up getting dumped after 20 years of work due to unforeseen side effects or other issues.
Biotech and pharmaceutical companies have eyed microfluidic technology for a while, because of its potential for lowering development costs via high-throughput assays. However the path to adoption of microfluidics in the pharmaceutical industry remains to be seen.
On June 23rd in Manchester, UK a 1-day conference will be held on this very topic: “Microfluidics & Nanotechnology in Drug Discovery,” coordinated by the European Laboratory Robotics Interest Group (ELRIG) and supported by AstraZeneca.
This conference will draw world-class speakers from the scientific community and industrial sectors, through presentations covering compound screening, complex biology, detection, drug delivery and pre-clinical applications. This meeting will aid to catalyse the development of new application opportunities and the adoption of these advancing technologies.
The conference seems like interesting opportunity to get microfluidics researchers talking to the research market (i.e., research scientists in the pharmaceutical industry) to discuss what tools would be most useful.