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Novartis's Research Experiment

Executive Summary

Against the trend, Novartis has dramatically increased its discovery infrastructure because, unlike most of its competitors, it believes it can cut R&D attrition. Drug research fails, its R&D execs believe, because it oversimplifies heterogeneous diseases. Instead, Novartis is testing drugs early in rare diseases that might be models of broader conditions. The proof-of-concept idea isn't new, but Novartis is exploiting it more extensively than anyone else, in virtually all new programs.

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