The series of clinical trials for potential drug discovery and therapy can cost hundreds of millions of dollars and years of investigations.
The human costs are even greater: patients with progressive terminal illnesses that may have just one shot at an unproven but promising treatment.
Clinical trials on drug discovery typically require patients to commit to a year or more of treatment, during which they are not allowed to pursue other experimental options. A long clinical trial without the backing of extensive and expensive animal data keeps patients out of tests for therapies that may have a better chance of success with an actual human.
Drug discovery has many laws that need to review. “The problem is definitely not isolated to ALS… It’s pandemic across drug discovery,” said Steven Perrin, chief scientific officer of the ALS Therapy Development Institute. “A patient in a disease like ALS, or a very aggressive oncology indication like pancreatic cancer, possibly has one shot on goal to find a treatment that might slow down their disease… It’s our responsibility as scientists and doctors and clinicians to push the best opportunities forward for patients.”
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