March, 2017 |4
According to a new study by Bentley University, new drugs to treat cancer are the end products of research begun in the 1970s and ’80s. Researchers say that this demonstrates the importance of long-term research in bringing new therapies to market.
The article, published in PLOS One, examines the path by which discoveries in basic, biomedical science are translated into new drugs. The results show that the time from the initiation of new areas of research to the approval of new drugs using modern, targeted or biological technologies is typically 30 to 40 years.
“Our analysis shows that the emergence of new cancer therapeutics follows predictable patterns of technology innovation,” says Dr. Laura McNamee, the lead author of the paper and a research associate in Bentley’s Center for Integration of Science and Industry. “Basic research is essential. Until this research base is established, very few targeted or biological therapeutics are successfully approved.”
“This new research emphasizes the critical importance of long-term funding for basic research,” says Dr. Fred Ledley, founding director of the center and a co-author of the paper. “Most scientific discoveries are only the first step in basic science that may take decades to mature. It is important to recognize that reducing support for basic research may hurt new drug development for decades to come.”
The work was supported by a grant from the National Biomedical Research Foundation.