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Thursday
Mar192015

Animals in Drug discovery not so useful after all!

February, 2015 issue of Nature states the following, "Preclinical studies with conventional proliferating cell  lines and animals models of disease have usually proven unable to predict drug efficacy in human trials. In some cases for example sepsis, hundreds of compounds are effective in animals but none have proven efficacious in humans"
Didn't Einstein say, definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. I fail to understand how the Scientists who are the smartest people in the world are continuing to use the methods that have been proven to be ineffective.
Another article in the same issue of nature talks about what it takes to make a breakthrough drug and why the costs are so high. I will just use one of the examples they described. For Alzheimer disease(AD) alone for every drug that is approved 118 are not. These 118 compounds must have successful preclinical results in either the cell lines or animal models in order to be pushed to clinical trials.
A total 1120 compounds were analysed for AD alone and only 4 were approved, and these 4 drugs are only symptomatic drugs, meaning they do not cure the disease.
WOW ! 
These numbers are shocking. Drug discovery needs to go through a transformation. The other option is that we start looking at prevention. By prevention I do not mean creating vaccines for every disease. I am saying lets make changes in our lifestyle, our diet, our environment. What we wear, we breath, eat, put on our skin and inhale all relate directly to the diseases we battle with.
Let's stop pressing the SNOOZE button on the thousand alarms beeping around us. If not for ourselves, let's do this for our children. Let's work on drug discovery on one end but on the other end lets work on prevention. Perhaps we can then meet in the middle. 

 

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