Towards a New Logic for Front End Management: From Drug Discovery to Drug Design in Pharmaceutical R&D
Journal article, 2007
Under pressure to innovate and be cost-effective at the same time, R&D departments are being challenged to develop new organizations and processes for Front End activities. This is especially true in the pharmaceutical industry. As drug development becomes more risky and costly, the discovery departments of pharmaceutical companies are increasingly being compelled to provide strong drug candidates for efficient development processes and quick market launches. It is argued that the Fuzzy Front End consists less of the discovery or recognition of opportunities than of the building of expanded concepts: the notion of concept generation is revisited, suggesting the need for a new logic for organizing Front End activities in order to support sustainable innovative product development. Based on an in-depth empirical study at a European pharmaceutical company, this paper contributes to improved understanding of the actual management practices used in the Front End. Using a design reasoning model (the C-K model), it also adds to the growing body of literature on the management of Front End activities in new product development processes.