Before It Became A Medicine

Before It Became A Medicine

A lot goes into making a medicine

The story of bringing a medicine to life is no different than any other process of creation. It requires innovation, imagination, and restless perseverance in the face of obstacles both expected and unforeseen.


5,000 researched compounds

There are billions of compounds in the world, but only a special few can be turned into medicines that save lives. We test close to 5,000 compounds hoping to find just one promising enough to develop further. These tests are only the beginning of a medicine's journey from our labs to you.

87 different protein structures

Once a compound is identified for further study, it gets a new title: "Lead Compound." We then optimize its chemical structure to make it safe and effective for the human body.


500,000 lab tests

Before an optimized compound can be studied in humans, it undergoes years of extensive testing. This testing tells us what about the medicine needs to improve, and what's worth preserving at all costs.

1,600 scientists

Our scientists are the cornerstone of what we do. No medicine or vaccine would be possible without their restless innovation, imagination, and dogged pursuit of the cure. It takes an average of 1,600 scientists to bring one medicine to life.

12 years of setbacks and breakthroughs

Scientists spend years testing compounds in the hopes of turning just one into a life-saving medicine. But that long journey is a lot more "hmmm" than "aha!" Luckily, our scientists see every setback as an opportunity to find new and exciting ways forward.

8,500 patient volunteers

All this time and effort are in service of one ultimate goal: to help patients in need. The patients who volunteer for our clinical trials are hoping, just like us, that the investigational medicine we're testing can improve their health. Our clinical trials are only possible thanks to the time, will and dedication of these patients.

36 clinical trials

After all the years of lab work, it's finally time to see how patients respond to an investigational medicine. We conduct clinical trials - 36 on average - to test an investigational medicine for safety and effectiveness. These studies take place at hundreds of hospitals and research centers around the world.