Recent scientific discoveries are opening up exciting opportunities for scientists in the field of personalized healthcare.Dr Maria Orr is a molecular geneticist by training and Dr Thorsten Gutjahr is a molecular biologist by training.
Both of them have successfully made the transition from academia to industry and are now leading the charge to bring innovative targeted medicines to the patients who will benefit most.

The pharmaceutical industry is a scientific field involved with the development and manufacture of medicinal drugs. Prescription drugs brings in hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide every year, so it’s not surprising that industry jobs can be very well remunerated. At the same time, the competition among the major companies is fierce, so industrial jobs are strenuous as product development and market analysis is a constantly shifting dynamic.

According to available figures the size of the Indian Pharmaceutical industries is poised to grow from Rs. 30,200 crore in 2007 to Rs. 33,500 crore in 2008 and further to Rs. 140, 000 crore in 2020. India is known as pharmacy of the whole world especially to third world countries. The country exports pharmaceuticals to more than 200 countries including USA, Russia, Germany, United Kingdom and Brazil. India is the leading supplier of AIDS drugs to the world. Pharmaceutical exports (valued in US dollar terms) registered an impressive growth rate at 30.7 % terms during April – October 2008 compared to corresponding period in the previous year. This growth further increases to 38.5 % when valued in rupees terms. Not withstanding the fears of a global recession, pharma exports are expected to grow by 25.2 % in 2008-2009. The Department of Pharmaceuticals estimated to have creation of 5 Lakh new jobs within next four years involving investment of Rs. 5,000-10,000 crore through public – private partnership model.

In this podcast they share the approaches and attitudes that carried them through their different career paths and earned them successes like the recent delivery of the first ever companion diagnostic to select patients with BRCA mutations for the treatment of ovarian cancer using AstraZeneca’s PARP inhibitor, and the first ever blood-based companion diagnostic test using circulating tumor DNA to identify patients with EGFR mutations for lung cancer treatment.

Gutjahr has two critical considerations when looking for good people to join the team at AstraZeneca: “Skills and experience are important but also a person’s attitude – what they bring to the team and their personality. There are many opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry and joining doesn’t always require a PhD or equivalent. There is a whole variety of backgrounds that we are looking for and it’s the diversity of thoughts, ideas and creativity that bring us the best solutions, pushing the boundaries of science to develop innovative new medicines for patients”.