Patients around the world are benefiting from drug research thanks to advances in technology. These days, drug research is no longer limited to lab work; it includes all the data scientists have access to, thanks to new technologies. Technology has also changed how drug development is funded. At present, pharmaceutical companies can get an idea about which drugs will be most profitable before they spend millions of dollars on drug development. Drug research has never been so exciting with all these new advancements.
Increased drug research efforts are needed to find cures to diseases that affect millions of people worldwide. One way this drug research is being advanced is through technology, which helps pharmaceutical companies gather data about patients and test drugs. For instance, technology has helped introduce the targeted protein degradation assay used to test drug toxicity, among others. This way, drug companies can know what drug will work best for which patient before the drug is even tested.
How Technology Benefits Drug Research
Drug discovery is a lengthy and costly process. It can take years of research to find the right drug candidate, but even then, only one in five candidates make it through clinical trials. Even if you discover the right drug candidate, getting FDA approval takes another 7-10 years on average.
Despite these challenges, pharmaceutical companies are working hard to develop new drugs faster than ever by using advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). These tools help researchers save time by quickly identifying promising compounds with fewer false positives or negatives. This enables them to focus their efforts on fewer compounds, increasing the odds of success during clinical trials.
Below are more benefits that technology brings to drug research:
- Identifying biomarkers more effectively
Technology has helped pharmaceutical researchers identify biomarkers associated with specific diseases, making drug research more efficient and effective than ever before. For example, scientists have identified a new gene mutation in some colon cancers called methylation of CpG island promoter 16 (MECP16). This has allowed drug developers to design a drug that blocks this gene, inhibiting the growth of the cancer cells.
- Gaining more access to data
Technology has also made drug research more efficient because it helps researchers have full access to data, which allows for faster drug development and the ability of pharmaceutical companies to work better with their colleagues around the world. Gaining access to more data has also helped drug developers create individualized treatments for patients, leading to better outcomes and more personalized therapies.
For instance, doctors studied a specific protein elevated in the blood of heart attack victims who are at high risk for another one. This allowed drug researchers to find an antibody-drug that targets this marker called proprotein convertase subtilisin/Kexin type-nine (PCSK), which saved lives worldwide.
- Understanding how drugs work
Additionally, drug companies use technology to better understand how their drugs move through patients’ bodies by tracking drug levels in specific organs with advanced imaging techniques like positron emission tomography (PET). This allows doctors to determine if a patient is responding well or not to a drug and enables them to adjust accordingly.
In the case of cancer, this may mean determining if chemotherapy is working or not in fighting tumors. Being able to determine the performance of a drug will help drug companies to create better treatments in the future.
- Creating portable lab devices
Drug companies are also using technology for drug development by creating portable lab devices that can test blood samples from patients’ homes instead of having them come into a clinic. This allows more people to participate in drug research and helps drug companies to generate data faster.
In addition, drug research is becoming more patient-centered with the use of technology. Since patients have a voice through social media and other Internet platforms, drug companies can learn about what they want to see in treatment options as they advance. This data could be used for drug development or simply for drug education purposes.
As drug research becomes more patient-centered, technology will continue to play a vital role in drug development. Social media and other Internet platforms are essential sources of information for patients with chronic conditions who want to participate in drug research or simply learn about their diagnosis through approved channels.
Helping the World Through Drug Research
Using technology for drug development is helping drug companies to create better treatments that can save more lives around the world. As a result, drug research companies are gaining more progress as drug research can be done more quickly and efficiently.
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