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Driven to Discover

A lot goes into making a medicine.

The story of bringing a medicine to life is no different than any other process of creation. It requires innovation, imagination, and restless perseverance in the face of obstacles both expected and unforeseen.

Before it became a medicine, it was...

Be Like Bob

Cancer researcher Bob Abraham and his team develop drugs to help treat cancer patients like Matt Hiznay. Now Matt is studying for his PhD so he can be just like the guy who helped save his life.

5,000

researched compounds

There are billions of compounds in the world, but only a special few can be turned into medicines that save lives. We test close to 5,000 compounds hoping to find just one promising enough to develop further. These tests are only the beginning of a medicine's journey from our labs to you.

How Does Mark Noe Discover New Medicines? It’s Complicated

A Pfizer medicinal chemist describes the incredible complexity — and rewards — of drug discovery.

87

different
protein structures

Once a compound is identified for further study, it gets a new title: "Lead Compound." We then optimize its chemical structure to make it safe and effective for the human body.

 

500,000

lab tests

Before an optimized compound can be studied in humans, it undergoes years of extensive testing. This testing tells us what about the medicine needs to improve, and what's worth preserving at all costs.

 

Prevention is the best medicine

Vaccine researcher Bill Gruber says vaccines are the single most important medical instrument to protect public health. His team of thousands works to combat diseases through prevention.

1,600

scientists

Our scientists are the cornerstone of what we do. No medicine or vaccine would be possible without their restless innovation, imagination, and dogged pursuit of the cure. It takes an average of 1,600 scientists to bring one medicine to life.

 

12 years

of setbacks and
breakthroughs

Scientists spend years testing compounds in the hopes of turning just one into a life-saving medicine. But that long journey is a lot more "hmmm" than "aha!" Luckily, our scientists see every setback as an opportunity to find new and exciting ways forward.

 

36

clinical trials

After all the years of lab work, it's finally time to see how patients respond to an investigational medicine. We conduct clinical trials - 36 on average - to test an investigational medicine for safety and effectiveness. These studies take place at hundreds of hospitals and research centers around the world.

 

 

8,500

patient volunteers

All this time and effort are in service of one ultimate goal: to help patients in need. The patients who volunteer for our clinical trials are hoping, just like us, that the investigational medicine we're testing can improve their health. Our clinical trials are only possible thanks to the time, will and dedication of these patients.

Learn more

The future of medicine relies on all of us working together. Use the social media links below
to learn more about advances in drug discovery and development.