Dean of Research and Development Yu-Te Wu (left) granted General Manager Liang-Shang Gan (right) with the Certificate of Appreciation at the lecture.
Yang-Ming GLORIA Enterprise Lecture 9: General Manager Liang-Shang Gan of Foresee Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. Sharing His Experiences in Drug Development
General Manager Liang-Shang Gan of Foresee Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. has rather rich experience in drug development in Taiwan and United States. He was specially invited to the November round of Bio-Navigator Lecture hosted by the Global Research & Industry Alliance (GLORIA,) National Yang-Ming University to talk about “the assessment and analysis of drug development.” General Manager Gan has also pointed out at the lecture that the development of new drugs and the value of the technologies from the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries is to treat and save patients, keeping them from pain and snatching them from the jaws of death. He received an enthusiastic response to his speech after the lecture.
The most crucial first step in the drug discovery process for pharmaceutical companies is to go global and face international marketing. The top ten global pharmaceutical companies become more capable in research and development, mostly through company mergers and technology transfer to quickly discover and develop effective drugs and launch them onto the market. The top ten global brand name drugs and their sales tell us that whether patients will be talked into paying more for drugs is determined by their rates of curing diseases and safety. Pharmaceutical companies make patients willing to accept drugs at higher prices by claiming that these drugs have higher cure rates and are safer. Not only do these companies gain higher profits this way, but they also have the opportunity to take a market leader position. Additionally, each country’s social security system and regulations (such as the Orphan Drug Act in the U.S. and the Rare Disease Control and Orphan Drug Act in Taiwan) are also closely related to the pricing of drugs.
General Manager Gan emphasized that the value of biopharmaceutical technologies is to help patients getting rid of diseases and feeling cured. These purposes should be the drivers of pharmaceutical research. The cost to cure diseases should not be considered over the cost of drug discovery as the drivers of pharmaceutical research.
Conducting drug discovery using genomic and precision medicine not only allows the drug discovery process to be performed with accuracy and reduces the costs but also shortens the time of the discovery process. Obtaining effective and safe drugs through precision medicine is the drug discovery model all the pharmaceutical companies are currently adopting. We should also pay attention to each country’s new drug review pathway and regulations while proceeding through the stages of drug discovery. To speed up the process of putting new drugs on the market, the new drugs must meet the relevant regulations and being quickly reviewed. Patent planning is even more critical in drug discovery; not only does it allow ongoing drug development, but also a necessary lesson in marketing strategies.
General Manager Gan mentioned in the end that pharmaceutical companies must examine the data collected through the drug discovery process with caution when conducting drug discovery. He used “aducanumab,” a drug for Alzheimer’s disease, owned by a biotechnology company Biogen as an example to explain that data collected would result in either the termination of the drug development or the launch of the drug onto the market, which will also directly affect the pharmaceutical company’s stocks. Pharmaceutical companies, therefore, have to consider from the angle of marketing strategies whether the data collected through the drug discovery process support the effectiveness of drugs.
Scientist Pai of the Medical and Pharmaceutical Industry Technology and Development Center brought forward a question – how to evaluate the time and resources spent in the drug screening stage. General Manager Gan claimed that those factors can be assessed with higher accuracy through big data and AI in the era of precision medicine.
Professor Tzyh-Chang Hwang, National Yang-Ming University, would like to know about the needs of Foresee Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. when collaborating with others to conduct drug discovery.
The lecture has successfully fostered future collaboration opportunities between lecturers of National Yang-Ming University and the industry. Front row: Professor Tzyh-Chang Hwang, General Manager Liang-Shang Gan, Associate Dean of Research and Development Zi-Hao Zheng, and Professor Chi-Ying Huang. Back row (from left): Associate Professor Jin-Wu Tsai, Chief Executive Officer Hsien-Chih Pei, and Associate Professor Keng-Li Lan.