Bristol-Myers Squibb

The Project: A Web system for managing and speeding up drug research and development.

The Payoff: Slashing by one-third the time it takes to develop new medications, saving money and boosting revenues.

In an industry where new drugs can take a decade to come to market, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY ) is in a hurry. The $20 billion-a-year pharmaceutical giant began last January using Web software to manage its drug-development process. It's a software dashboard that lets managers see the status of each project so that they can shift resources from one to another of the 30 drugs in development.

This is a key part of reaching Bristol's goal of reducing the average time it takes to develop a new product from 7 1/2 years -- the industry average -- to five years. The stakes are high. It costs pharmaceutical companies an average of $800 million to bring a drug to market. As Bristol, which spends 10% of revenue on R&D, moves medicines along faster, it can pack more products into the development pipeline without increasing expenses. It's like putting drug R&D on speed.

By Steve Hamm

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