Considerations Before Starting the Journey
Our understanding of human biology has increased tremendously for the last several decades, yet the pace at which these discoveries have translated into new therapies for patients has been frustratingly stagnant. Universities and academic health centers, as the major recipients of public investment in biomedical science, have an obligation to translate new knowledge into applications that confer human benefit. However, translating fundamental discoveries into practical applications is expensive and involves highly regulated steps with which few academic scientists have experience. Challenges in engaging universities and academic health centers in translational research include building the appropriate infrastructures for human investigation, training and stabilizing the careers of young scientists and physicians interested in the requisite work, educating academic investigators about the regulatory requirements inherent in successful therapeutic discovery and development, and finding more efficient ways to match good ideas with adequate funding resources. The purpose of this article is to examine the early-stage drug development process and evaluate the role that academia could play in it. Because interest in early-stage drug development grows among academic investigators, the need for more integrated partnerships among academia, government, and industry has become increasingly apparent.
- drug discovery
- translational medicine
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