Keynote dinner speaker Dr. Roger M. Perlmutter, President of Merck Research Laboratories affirmed the mission of the LRI in funding the most novel, innovative science. And as a founding member of the LRI Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Perlmutter helped formulate this guiding objective.
“We are in the midst of a 60 year period of exponential decline in productivity in drug discovery and development,” commented Dr. Perlmutter. “Trying to understand what goes wrong in any disease is exceeding difficult; we know all the pieces of this complex machine called the human body, but we don’t know how to put them together. The only way we can improve treatment is to better understand how the machine works, and for that we need more fundamental research.
”While acknowledging the obstacles, Dr. Perlmutter expressed high optimism for the future. “I believe that our obligation at a great biopharma company like Merck is to invest money in pioneering fundamental research. And with our colleagues in academia we can make a real difference. There has never been a time that scientific research was so revealing. The tools we have in our labs are unbelievably powerful, and our ability to reduce that to practice in a clinical setting gets better and better all the time. We are in position to develop extraordinary new drugs, and I can already see it happening.”
“Roger Perlmutter has articulated and affirmed the mandate of the LRI,” said Margaret Dowd, LRI President and CEO. “Taking risks, supporting fundamental research is why we have been so successful, and why our work over the past decade has been magical.”