Net Based Pharmacodynamics May Change the Pharmaceutical Industry

Talk at International Conference Converging Sciences 2006,
Trento, Italy, 16-17 October 2006.

Eric Werner, Ph.D.


Traditional drugs act on targets in molecules in chemical pathways. Viewing targets and pathways in the context of metabolic and genomic networks that are integrated into a model of cells and multicellular structures, makes it possible to see the function of targets in a broader dynamic biological context of developing multicellular systems. We called this Networked multicellular pharmacodynamics (Net-MCPD)[see Werner, DDT, vol 8, p 1121, 2003]. It becomes possible, in principle, to view the effect of a drug at different stages of development. Thus some drugs have adverse effects on children but not on adults. Also, cancers can be viewed as caused by pathological developmental networks (see Werner forthcoming). Furthermore, it may turn out that RNA based "drugs" with their precise target specificity will become the dominant mode of network control. Hence, pushing aside traditional drug based approaches to medicine. This may leave the pharmaceutical industry open to revolutionary competition from small start ups.