As reported in Science Daily, researchers at the University of Bristol’s MRC Epidemiology Unit working with pharmaceutical companies have developed an approach to reduce the failure rate of developing drugs.
Currently, only ten percent of new molecular agents are approved in the early stages of clinical trials. The report was published in Nature Genetics.
About the Study
The study was conducted with a goal of determining whether genetic evidence predicts future success. The researchers were tasked to find out whether drug targets that had genetic support were two times more likely to receive approval.
The team analyzed blood protein levels showing how genetic data is used to prioritize drug targets by identifying the effect that proteins have on diseases.
The researchers used MR and colocalization to analyze the effects of 1,002 proteins on 225 human disorders. Then the team followed up by identifying 65 proteins covering 52 diseases spanning a wide range of disease areas.
They used a set of genetic epidemiology approaches. Epidemiology is a branch of medical science that deals with the disease in a population. The approach included Mendellian randomization (MR) and genetic colocalization. MR represents a study design that combines genetic information and traditional methods.
Data from prior pipeline drug targets were also analyzed. It confirmed that drug targets associated with human disease are two times more likely to achieve success in Phase II and Phase III trials. This premise also holds true for MR and colocalization.
Benefits of Data Sharing
Professor Tom Gaunt, a member of the NIHR Research center, noted that their study relied on public data published by researchers across the globe.
Dr. Gaunt points out that open data sharing has many advantages in health research. One major advantage is the reduction of the cost to develop drugs.
And In Conclusion . . .
Dr. Jie Zheng, the lead author of the study, added that the researchers’ analysis of how proteins affect human diseases may be used in the future to determine how drugs will affect those proteins.
In addition, their study facilitates reusing existing drugs for other disorders.