Feds expand role in medical research

The Obama Administration announced that it is funding a $1 billion federal research center designed to help spur the development of new medicines.

More research and more collaboration among industry, academia or government is always a welcome development when it comes to working to find new cures and treatments for patients around the world – whether it is basic research or drug discovery and development.

As PhRMA notes, bringing new medicines from the lab to patients is a challenging and risky business. The biopharmaceutical research sector invested an estimated $65.3 billion to discover and develop new medicines in 2009 alone – all in the face of steep odds:  Just one medicine is approved, on average, for every 10,000 promising molecules initially studied.

So how does a molecule become a medicine? Take a look at this high-level overview that gives you a general picture of what the process looks like (it is not intended to represent the lifecycle of any particular medicine discovered or developed by AstraZeneca):

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– By Tony Jewell