Hunt for drug discovery

Hi again! I got tired after the face treatment so I haven´t written so much on my book today. I told you that I have some contact with my previous supervisor and he has given me some advice on what to focus on in this book I writing. That is really nice.

I was going to church tomorrow but I had to cancel because I will see an old friend from very long ago. My very first friend actually. However, the church reminded me of my supervisor who has Jewish origin (like I have lappish) and what he told me. Especially Praha.

When l was at school for pharmacology (old school, no curling) I also read a lot of other different literature. My supervisor recommended Paul Auster “Vertigo”. I carry that books take home message in my heart. What would you like to do in life after you have reached a goal? That is my personal interpretation.

I miss knowledge about drug discovery in news so I have to write myself. I have been active in pharmaceuticals during several years so I have some experience. From mouse to human.

First of all it is very important to know the literature and that is challenging because there is such an overflow of news today. To know what is important is something you learn. For example what I have written about functional nicotinic auto receptors (per se; Larsson et al. 2002, I don´t know who has the patent) is something that was very difficult to understand at that time. Today, more than 15 years ago, that knowledge has matured. That is science. What we find very difficult and complicated today will, most probably, be very easy to understand in 15-20 years.

That is why I would like to underline, especially for those with no scientific education, that you cannot “force” science to mature. Wrong decisions might be taken.

You need to know the literature so you don´t repeat an already made experiment.When you know the literature  you can ask yourself a question. And in pharmacology, to develop new drugs; to hamper, or even better, to treat diseases, you need to have animals.

These kind of experiments are strictly regulated by law. The animals are taken care of a by veterinary. You have to apply for ethical approval and you write to a committee and tell  what you would like to do. The ethical committee asks several questions about your experiment that might concern details about the experiment. For example, I have performed surgery and then they need to know about how the animals are eg anesthetized.

If you get an approval you can perform your experiment. Often you have a clear picture in your mind about what the results will be, but sometimes the results can be completely different from expected. That is interesting. Then you might use your humbleness and realize that you don´t know everything and that you need help from people with more knowledge in a specific areas.

To make a drug discovery you need a strong effect. If you succeed, like the omeprazole-esomeprazole fairy tale, you need to test this effect in other species than mice, like cats and dogs, before you move on to tests in human being.

It is also interesting to note that pharmacological drugs can have different effects in various animals. If I remember correctly, latanaprost turned out to a fairytale after a lot of work when finally tested in monkeys.

This are all pre-clinical experiments.

If the pharmacological effect is strong pharmacology continues in human being. First in a very little group of healthy volounteers, then to larger groups. Patients.

These are clinical trials.

Unfortunately, even though results are positive in animals, it might turn out that there is no effect in human beings. And that happens, that pharmaceutical industry need to stop further drug development at this level. But of course it is better to stop at this level rather than to go further.

However, if findings are positive in clinical trials, there still is a lot of work to have a drug approved for sell at pharmacies. A lot of reports are sent to various authorities at different countries.

I stop here. I like animals a lot as you know. When I started my pharmacological studies I was going to quit due to animal experiments. But, I think everybody is happy to have drugs available in case of disease. The discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming has with no doubts decreased mortality and human suffering. What is your opinion?


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