The complexity of modern life may have given birth to the science of 'complex systems'. But that hardly justifies spending a lot of money on research. So there may be something in the argument that because we now understand some of the simpler issues of science, we can start to devise grander theories.
September / October 2003
The biopharmaceutical industry faces the challenge of maintaining an annual double-digit growth rate. Yet, its pipelines of new products are plagued with too much attrition at too late a stage, due to concerns over efficacy, safety and business viability. In addition, 42 of the top 52 blockbuster drugs will come off-patent by the year 2007, producing a huge drain on the innovator companies as generics enter the market.
Bioinformatics is a new science that is growing fast to meet the changing needs of the pharmaceutical industry and laboratories as a whole. Solutions exist or can be created for every researcher and every laboratory, no matter how individual the situation and despite the enormous amounts of various types of data from different sources, different types and different ages of technology.
On the surface, drug discovery would seem to have little in common with baseball, unless you are one of these lyrical people who talks about 'home runs' and the company being 'at the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded' during strategy meetings. So it may come as a surprise to learn that one of the pioneers of computational chemistry, whose software is used extensively in drug discovery, also invented the software that is used to process and display baseball statistics in newspapers and TV. Richard Cramer is the common link between these two activities.