Last week, I gave a postgraduate seminar in bioinformatics. Rather pleasingly, there was a lot of discussion afterwards and one of the students asked whether bioinformatics had increased the pace of drug discovery.
I’m sure that it has helped – if nothing else, you would think that computational methods and databases have reduced the number of compounds that we have to screen for activity. I realised though that I have no firm data or numbers that can answer the question “is the turnaround time for getting drugs onto the market shorter because of bioinformatics?” My suspicion would be that the speed and amount of development has not increased as markedly as we might have hoped. Any experts in the field care to comment on this?