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Title: A Story of Collaboration: The Discovery of Lipitor and the Future of Drug Development
Authors: Yue, Julia
Advisors: Rosenberg, Leon
Department: Molecular Biology
Class Year: 2013
Abstract: Cardiovascular heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 24.1% of deaths in the United States in 2010. This thesis examines the discovery and development of statin drugs, which have been the most effective drug therapies for reducing the incidence of cardiovascular disease through LDL cholesterol reduction and HDL cholesterol elevation. Through literature reviews and interviews with key individuals in the drug discovery process, the thesis specifically explores the history of Lipitor, an especially effective statin drug that quickly became the best-selling pharmaceutical drug in history. While statins have been successful in lowering cardiovascular disease risk, statin intolerant individuals require alternative options, and there is still 60-70% of additional possible risk reduction. Although several alternative drug therapies have been developed, none have thus far proven to be superior to statins. This thesis presents some promising early-stage compounds in development that may be effective as monotherapies or in conjunction with statins. Furthermore, by examining the history of cardiovascular disease treatments and the processes of developing and marketing these drugs, we can better understand the future of drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry. The changing pharmaceutical environment will also affect how companies must discover, develop, and market drugs in the future. As there are increasingly fewer and more risky drug targets, the blockbuster model of drug discovery will no longer be relevant. Only through a more open and collaborative environment will pharmaceutical companies be able to discover novel drugs, which will lead to advances in the treatment of diseases.
Extent: 179 pages
Access Restrictions: Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Molecular Biology, 1954-2020

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