And so, another working week will soon draw to a close. Not a moment too soon, yes? This is, as you know, our treasured signal to daydream about weekend plans. Our agenda, for the moment, is rather modest. We hope to catch up on some sundry chores, spend time with our short person, and possibly visit the Pharmalot ancestors. And what about you? This may be a good time to take in a moving picture. For those with a keen sense of discipline, you can self-flagellate by readying your taxes. Or you could catch up on the steady stream of presidential tweets, such as they are. Well, whatever you do, have a grand time. But be safe. Enjoy, and see you soon …

A focus on fewer diseases, along with cuts in labs and staff, has yielded a more than fourfold increase in research productivity at AstraZeneca (AZN)Reuters writes. Why? There was a marked drop in the number of projects started at the discovery stage, with the total falling to just 76 in 2012 to 2016 from 287 in 2005 to 2010. “We’re working on far fewer programs and the probability of success on those programs is going up,” says one AstraZeneca exec.

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  • When you lose $7 billion in sales off your blockbuster drug Crestor, with nothing in the pipeline to compensate, it does tend to put a crimp in your R&D budget.

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