• Follow us

Health

How to Fight “Eroom’s Law”

A systemic business problem is impeding the development of many life-saving treatments: the vicious cycle of ever-diminishing returns on drug-discovery investment. Since 1950 the cost of developing a new drug has doubled every nine years. In 1950 approximately 30 drugs were developed for every $1 billion spent on research and development. Today we get about one third of a drug for the same price—or put another way, it costs close to $3 billion to bring a new medicine to market.

This slowing pace and rising cost of R&D has recently been coined Eroom's law, so named because it's the opposite to Moore's law from microelectronics, whereby computing power doubles and cost is halved roughly every 18 months. There are many explanations given for why drug discovery has followed Eroom's law, from cautious regulators to increasing overall R&D costs. But one of the biggest areas holding back progress is inefficiency in the preclinical, animal testing phase of the drug-discovery process. Only one in 10 drugs that enter human clinical trials reach the market after preclinical success.

There also can be a mirror result, where a drug might have been successful in humans, yet because it fails in preclinical animal testing, it never makes it to human trials. The bottom-line consequences of this failure were demonstrated dramatically recently when Biogen's Alzheimer's drug, in development for years at a cost of multiple billions of dollars, failed at Phase III trials. The company lost $18 billion, representing 30 percent of its market value, in a single day.

Part of the reason for this failure is that animals or cells in simple petri dishes aren't good predictors of how a drug will perform in humans. Advances in technology are making new testing models possible, from 3-D printing of tissues to sophisticated, broader studies that use massive amounts of data from clinical trials or other sources to draw conclusions based on patterns that the data show. There are drawbacks, however, to both approaches. First, 3-D printing subjects the cells to a printing process, which may alter the cells' behavior, and as cells are printed one at a time, this approach is difficult to scale. Data studies, on the other hand, are not an actual physical model and require massive amounts of information, which may not be available when it comes to experimental drugs.

To understand a drug's true efficacy, it is critical to test the interactions involving not only the biology but also the fluid and biophysical environment surrounding the biology. A physical model called a human organ system uses human tissue samples to recreate the complex interactions cells have in a living, breathing organism, at scale. This system has the potential to not only increase significantly the success rate at the clinical stage but also has the potential to reduce or eliminate animal testing altogether.

This technology works by making human tissue samples on biocompatible plastic with microscopic structures, embedded sensors, pumps and controllers. A series of fine needle-tubes align with human tissue samples on the chip, and pumps on top of the chip bathe the cells in fluids, mimicking the natural environment of cells within the body. The result is a proxy for 96 independent human organs in a highly controlled environment. Furthermore, the integrated sensors can provide direct, lifetime monitoring of cell cultures to see how and why changes occur as opposed to current techniques that look at endpoints only.

Using multiple, clinically relevant measures of tissue function has the potential to accelerate drug discovery by enabling human tissue testing before clinical trials or even animal studies begin. Even more important, testing on human tissue rather than on humans opens up entirely new testing opportunities we can't even contemplate today. These could be new possibilities in terms of scale—such as testing hundreds of thousands of copies of a human organ system—or in terms of testing subpopulations with age, ethnic or gender diversity that would be either too expensive or ethically unacceptable to test live. For example, it is unsafe and unethical to test a drug on pregnant women or an 18-month-old child. We can, however, test the tissue from someone who is pregnant or 18 months old without causing harm, thereby getting a much more accurate prediction of a drug's safety and efficacy in those populations.

Testing human organ systems enables the collection of better and more types of data, advancing research into diseases where effective treatments have long been elusive. For example, chronic kidney disease is a growing health burden, affecting one in 10 people worldwide. The disease's progression can lead to kidney failure, and the need to replace kidney function through dialysis. But what if we could learn more about why kidney functions were breaking down so that we could develop a drug that could slow or stop the process? Finding a cure for kidney disease will require studying many drug and environmental conditions on a wide range of populations. Human organ systems enable us to do just that, making it possible to one day proactively manage kidney disease in much the same way we manage heart disease now.

Another example where we're seeing human organ systems research make an impact is in its ability to measure real-time barrier formation, and changes to transport across that barrier. This is particularly important in treating intestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease. Developing an effective treatment for this painful disorder requires deeper understanding into how the barrier between the bloodstream and gut starts to break down, and whether there are types of bacteria, for example, that cause this breakdown or inflame the barrier. Human organ systems provide a window into understanding this condition that wasn't possible before.

Although in its early days, this technology holds great promise from a business standpoint as well. If the platform is able to make clinical trials even 25 percent more successful, cost savings could run to more than $500 million per approved drug. As a result, several pharma companies, including Pfizer, are using human organ systems, and researchers and start-ups are investigating a range of approaches, making this space an exciting one to watch in the years to come.

Innovations such as human organ systems are one fundamental way that pharma companies can break the cycle of diminishing returns on R&D. Although Eroom's law—the slowing pace and rising cost in R&D—won't be reversed overnight, we don't have to live with it. Unlike Moore's law in microelectronics, there are no laws of physics limiting our advances.

Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

ABC News: Health

Former VA pathologist charged in deaths of 3 2019-08-20 18:33:57A pathologist who was fired from an Arkansas veterans hospital after officials said he had been impaired while on duty has been charged with involunta

Jury awards $3M to fired Planned Parenthood Arizona 2019-08-20 18:18:41A former Planned Parenthood Arizona employee who claimed she was wrongfully fired after she reported unsafe medical practices has been awarded $3 mill

2 drug companies settle with counties in opioid-crisis 2019-08-20 17:17:54Two drugmakers have reached settlements on claims filed by the first two Ohio counties set to go to trial in the national opioid lawsuit.

Georgia asks judge not to block restrictive abortion 2019-08-20 16:09:42Georgia is asking a federal judge not to block the state's restrictive abortion law from taking effect and to dismiss a challenge to the constitution

Big questions linger as Russia shares radiation data 2019-08-20 15:50:26A nuclear weapons watchdog says Russia has resumed sharing data from its radiation monitoring stations after they were taken offline following a deadl

Guidelines say more women may need breast cancer 2019-08-20 11:18:26New US guidelines say more women may benefit from gene testing for hereditary breast or ovarian cancer

Woman dies in Spain as listeria-in-pork outbreak sickens 2019-08-20 11:06:26Health authorities in Spain are on high alert after a 90-year-old woman died amid a listeria outbreak in the southern region of Andalusia that has aff

Planned Parenthood leaves federal family planning program 2019-08-20 00:12:57Planned Parenthood says it's pulling out of the federal family planning program rather than abide by a new Trump administration rule prohibiting prog

Brand-name drug prices rising at slower pace, lower 2019-08-19 16:42:44Prices for brand-name prescription medicines are still climbing, just not quite as much

US attorney seeks to block plan for supervised 2019-08-19 16:27:10Photos of young people lost to the opioid crisis are perched outside the federal courthouse in Philadelphia on Monday as a judge inside weighs a plan

Grower: 5,000 in Louisiana medical marijuana program so 2019-08-19 14:40:40Two weeks after Louisiana patients started receiving medical marijuana, pharmacies haven't reported any supply chain problems and the program appears

Philippines: Still-unknown disease prompts culling of pigs 2019-08-19 08:10:12The Philippine agriculture chief says an unspecified number of pigs has died or been culled in backyard farms in recent weeks and a crisis team has be

NYT > Health

Planned Parenthood Refuses Federal Funds Over Abortion Restrictions 2019-08-20 03:01:43Facing a Trump administration rule that forbids referrals for abortion, the organization decided to reject federal funds for family planning for low-i

Butterflies and the Salt of the Earth 2019-08-20 02:30:04The insects love mud puddles. Here’s why.

Premature Babies Lag in Vaccinations 2019-08-20 01:25:00Preterm babies were more than 20 percent less likely to have had required shots by 19 months.

Flavonoids in Plants May Help Protect Against Major 2019-08-20 01:24:28Those who ate the most flavonoid-rich foods had a lower risk for cancer and cardiovascular death.

Getting the Right Care for Painful Autoimmune Conditions 2019-08-20 01:17:34A corticosteroid can quickly relieve symptoms of both polymyalgia rheumatica and temporal arteritis. But a delay could cause vision loss, a stroke or

Why Do We Hiccup? 2019-08-20 01:15:32Anything that upsets or aggravates your digestive or respiratory tracts can induce hiccups. There are almost as many remedies as causes.

Football May Take a Toll on the Brain, 2019-08-20 01:15:25The brains of college football players showed signs of “fraying” after a season of play.

The Thick Gray Line: Forest Elephants Defend Against 2019-08-20 01:13:53If the species is wiped out by poachers, Africa’s vast rain forest will lose 7 percent of its carbon storage ability, scientists estimate.

Older People Need Rides. Why Aren’t They Using 2019-08-20 00:46:22Seniors need transportation alternatives more than ever, but many are intimidated by ride-hailing apps.

Why Warning Pregnant Women Not to Drink Can 2019-08-20 00:46:15Harsh measures, or even threats of them, can lead to the avoidance of prenatal care entirely.

No Pre-Reading, No Rehearsing: How ‘The Weekly’ Kept 2019-08-20 00:33:47The Times TV show’s producer/director shares the challenges and rewards of bringing to life witness testimony against Purdue Pharma in a way tha

A Secret Opioid Memo That Could Have Slowed 2019-08-19 13:43:16A new TV Show from The New York Times on FX and Hulu.

Scientific American: Health

Trials Test if C-section Babies Benefit From Mom's 2019-08-17 08:00:00Swabbing infants with mothers’ vaginal bacteria could affect the children’s health, but critics warn of sparse data and high risk -- Read

Treatment for Extreme Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis Wins U.S. Government 2019-08-16 09:45:00The three-drug regimen cures 90 percent of people who have the deadliest form of the disease -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Antisense Drugs for Huntington's, ALS and Prion Diseases 2019-08-15 06:45:00A genetic therapy that increases or lowers levels of a protein raises hopes for a treatment for neurological disorders -- Read more on ScientificAmeri

Whistle-Blower Complaint Highlights CDC Turmoil on Climate 2019-08-14 15:45:00The filing will raise concerns that the agency is shifting climate funds to other programs -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Climate Shocks Could Reverse Gains in Child Malnutrition 2019-08-13 15:25:00Drought fueled by global warming could exacerbate food insecurity, particularly in developing countries -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Blood Tests for Alzheimer's: Two Experts on Why 2019-08-13 11:30:00Diagnoses could be made of individuals with AD pathology years before the first symptoms -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Two Ebola Drugs Show Promise amid Ongoing Outbreak 2019-08-13 10:00:00People who receive either therapy soon after infection have a 90 percent survival rate, a clinical trial finds -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Is Guilt Good for Your Health? 2019-08-13 07:00:00Negative feedback helps some people make better health choices, but we need a different approach to motivate others -- Read more on ScientificAmerican

Scientists Call for Do-Over for Rules on Creating 2019-08-12 15:30:00On Tuesday, an international commission will meet to develop less ambiguous guidelines for embryo editing -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Artificial Intelligence Sniffs Out Unsafe Foods 2019-08-12 09:00:00Researchers trained machine-learning algorithms to read Amazon reviews for hints that a food product would be recalled by the FDA. Christopher Intagli

Device That Automates Manual Breathing Bags Could Save 2019-08-12 08:00:00A machine that can pump manual bag valve masks without human help could be a stopgap measure or replacement for mechanical ventilators -- Read more on

Ghostpartum: Why Many Women Don't Get the Sexual 2019-08-08 12:00:00The many factors that impact a woman’s ability and desire to have intercourse after giving birth are rarely addressed during a standard postpart

MedicineNet Daily News

Study Points to Harms From MRI 'Dye' in New! 2019-08-22 03:00:00Title: Study Points to Harms From MRI 'Dye' in Early PregnancyCategory: Health NewsCreated: 8/20/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 8/21/2019 12

'Red Flag' Laws May Be Stopping Some Mass New! 2019-08-22 03:00:00Title: 'Red Flag' Laws May Be Stopping Some Mass ShootingsCategory: Health NewsCreated: 8/20/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 8/21/2019 12:00:

Health Tip: Lifting Heavy Things New! 2019-08-22 03:00:00Title: Health Tip: Lifting Heavy ThingsCategory: Health NewsCreated: 8/21/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 8/21/2019 12:00:00 AM

U.S. Task Force Updates Breast Cancer Gene Testing New! 2019-08-22 03:00:00Title: U.S. Task Force Updates Breast Cancer Gene Testing RecommendationsCategory: Health NewsCreated: 8/20/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 8/2

Vaping Constricts Blood Vessels, Raising Heart, Lung Concerns New! 2019-08-22 03:00:00Title: Vaping Constricts Blood Vessels, Raising Heart, Lung ConcernsCategory: Health NewsCreated: 8/20/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 8/21/201

The Merits of Physical Therapy New! 2019-08-22 03:00:00Title: The Merits of Physical TherapyCategory: Health NewsCreated: 8/21/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 8/21/2019 12:00:00 AM

Study Finds Diabetes, Heart Failure a Dangerous Duo New! 2019-08-22 03:00:00Title: Study Finds Diabetes, Heart Failure a Dangerous DuoCategory: Health NewsCreated: 8/21/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 8/21/2019 12:00:00

CBP Won't Vaccinate Migrants Against Flu New! 2019-08-22 03:00:00Title: CBP Won't Vaccinate Migrants Against FluCategory: Health NewsCreated: 8/21/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 8/21/2019 12:00:00 AM

When Does Heart Health Return to Normal After New! 2019-08-22 03:00:00Title: When Does Heart Health Return to Normal After Quitting Smoking?Category: Health NewsCreated: 8/20/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 8/21/2

AHA News: A Mineral, a Metal and a New! 2019-08-22 03:00:00Title: AHA News: A Mineral, a Metal and a Deadly Pregnancy ConditionCategory: Health NewsCreated: 8/20/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 8/21/201

Women's Mid-Life Stress Might Have Long-Term Effect on New! 2019-08-22 03:00:00Title: Women's Mid-Life Stress Might Have Long-Term Effect on MemoryCategory: Health NewsCreated: 8/20/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial Review: 8/21/20

AHA News: New Heart Saved Her - and New! 2019-08-22 03:00:00Title: AHA News: New Heart Saved Her - and It Came With the Name of Teen Who Gave ItCategory: Health NewsCreated: 8/20/2019 12:00:00 AMLast Editorial

Health News - UPI.com

Study: Alzheimer's drug Aricept could reverse alcohol effects 2019-08-20 14:01:48 An drug used to treat Alzheimer's disease could help reverse some of the negative effects of adolescent binge drinking on the brain, a study publish

USDA study advises against washing raw poultry, red 2019-08-20 13:33:46 Washing raw chicken before it's cooked is a common practice, but new federal research advised against it Tuesday -- saying it can lead to foodborne

Effects of smoking on the heart, blood vessels 2019-08-20 11:05:07 New research shows that people who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years, for at least a decade after quitting, have a higher risk for cardio

Death risk higher for Chinese-American elders when children 2019-08-16 15:49:30 Older Chinese-Americans have a high expectation of respect from their children. But when the children don't meet this standard of respect, their eld

Electric brain stimulation may help people with severe 2019-08-16 13:07:03 For people with mental illness, focusing attention over long periods of time, distinguishing between two different things and processing information

Study: One-third of military personnel keep firearms safely 2019-08-16 11:02:36 Studies show that safely storing firearms can reduce risk for suicide, and more than 60 percent of military members who die by suicide use a gun whil

Black, Hispanic patients underrepresented in cancer trials, raises 2019-08-16 10:37:52 Between 2008 and 2018, fewer than 8 percent of cancer trials in the United States had participation from white, Asian-American, black and Hispanic pa

Methadone treatment during pregnancy doesn't hurt newborn, study 2019-08-15 16:20:51 Treating a pregnant woman who suffers from opioid addiction has no more harmful impact on the newborn compared to receiving no treatment at all, a ne

FDA proposes health warnings images for cigarette packs, 2019-08-15 14:33:23 A new rule proposed by the FDA would require images to cover the top half of the front and back of a cigarette pack, as well as cover the top 20 perc

New drug may speed blood recovery after chemotherapy 2019-08-15 14:22:30 A new drug may help to speed up the rejuvenation of blood stem cells after chemotherapy, a new study says.

New method reduces post-surgical opioid prescriptions by one-third 2019-08-15 10:53:50 Researchers have come up with a way to decrease pain in patients undergoing surgeries without sending them home with dozens of opioid prescriptions.

Nearly half of patients keep information about sexual 2019-08-14 16:52:37 Nearly half of patients who've survived a sexual assault, faced threats of domestic violence, struggled with depression or thought about committing

FOX News

Baby born by C-section after parents involved in 2019-08-21 15:17:19A British couple welcomed their baby girl weeks early after they were involved in a car accident — which left them both with broken ankles &mdas

Pro athletes unite to bring wheelchair basketball and 2019-08-21 15:05:40Wheelchair basketball is transforming the lives of those caught in the crossfire of conflict, disease and poverty – spurred by the International

Beth Chapman ‘choked on cancer’ in final moments 2019-08-21 14:47:00She said the 51-year-old's final moments haunt her father.

Navy dad catches newborn son while en route 2019-08-21 14:40:12He had prayed to play a role in his wife's delivery, and he certainly did.

Teen hospitalized with vape-related health scare: ‘Machines were 2019-08-21 14:29:16A Texas teen is recovering after spending 18 days in the hospital for a collapsed lung doctors believe was caused by vaping.

Mom loses fingers, toes, part of leg after 2019-08-21 12:38:01Her most recent surgery stemming from the 2015 incident was just a few months ago.

E-cigarettes damage blood vessels even if devices don’t 2019-08-21 10:45:48Often touted as a safer alternative to cigarettes, e-cigarettes can have negative effects on a user’s blood vessels, damaging them after just on

Man's beloved dog dies just 15 minutes after 2019-08-21 10:11:26It was a tragic twist for an already heartbroken family.

Las Vegas strip visitors warned of possible measles 2019-08-21 09:21:44Heads up, Las Vegas visitors: If you took a trip to Sin City earlier this month, you may have been exposed to measles. 

Blood test can predict if you'll die in 2019-08-21 09:08:55If you could find out when you were likely to die, would you?

Lack of flu shots for migrants at CBP 2019-08-21 04:33:15U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and their medical contractors do not administer influenza vaccines to migrants being held at detention

Woman left with 'Harry Potter' scar after skin 2019-08-20 15:08:19A British woman who used tanning beds for years later developed skin cancer on her forehead that, after it was removed, left her with a “Harry P


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.