Development Pipeline

Drug development: The R&D journey

Two women in a pharmacy talking to each other.

From Molecules to Medicine – The long road to a new drug

Have you ever wondered how new drugs are conceived, created, tested and brought to patients? Why does it take so long for a promising treatment you’ve read about in the news headlines to be available through your physician?


We’re passionate about discovering and developing innovative medicines that improve outcomes and quality of life for patients. We’re striving to get drugs out onto the market that have gone through the mandatory processes and can ultimately make a big difference to patients.


Patient safety and welfare come first

It’s a complex and rigorous scientific process to create a medicine that we can be sure is both effective and safe. We have a responsibility to make sure treatments are thoroughly tested and to understand how they work and all of their effects.


Every country has stringent regulations around drug development and releases: we work closely with the regulators to ensure we’re compliant at every stage of development. We all want to safeguard patients while finding new ways of treating diseases and symptoms.


Ten stages can take over ten years

Find out how it happens in practice in our series which tells the story of the pharmaceutical discovery process. How do scientists in our labs take a typical drug from an idea to an approved treatment?


Follow a new drug through ten stages to learn how we use laboratory experiments, research, computer modelling, clinical trials and regulatory affairs to bring powerful and effective treatments to patients all over the world – and to understand why this journey can take twelve to fifteen years and cost more than one billion euros.