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"Research And The Flops Of Scientific Experiments" by Dr. Antonio Giordano

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

"Research And The Flops Of Scientific Experiments" by Dr. Antonio Giordano

Clinical trials, especially of drugs and therapies, involve a lengthy and expensive process. Despite the efforts made by the research teams and the investments of the sponsors, they are susceptible to failure. And indeed, every year, many studies do not pass the initial or final stages.

For a sponsor such a failure may represent missed opportunities and lost investments, however for the patients who are chosen for trial studies the failure is equivalent to the loss of probability of recovery, sometimes with further damage, due to having undergone the treatment, not approved and which later turned out to be fallacious. The list of 10 flops in clinical trials this year includes an HIV vaccine, cancer drugs that have not passed the latest tests, and other trials on neurodegenerative diseases.

Nevertheless, the importance of trying new ways and different solutions for various pathologies, as far as the oncology field is concerned, remains something that is absolutely necessary: the purpose of a clinical trial is to improve the effectiveness (effective and better than the previous one) of health treatment and to find a safe therapy.

The paths of the various experiments must be scientifically congruent, according to controlled methods; extensive pre-clinical research must be conducted that demonstrates the potential of a cure for the disease being treated. Unfortunately, the failure of an experiment every year is a fact to be reckoned with.

In 2021, the COVID-19 area experienced failed clinical trials. Drug development always carries a high risk of harm: 90% of programs fail during the early stages of clinical trials, mainly due to lack of clinical "efficacy".

Each year the material impact on patients who have participated in failed trials is high, in terms of administering drugs that are ineffective, sometimes harmful. Despite the flops, the failures, clinical trials are a resource that has allowed us to advance in pharmacological treatments.

Although the importance of a large drug trial deals with the health risks of the patients who participate and also the loss of capital for the sponsors; however beyond that lies the discovery of an effective drug and with it the hope of a positive result!

This article was first published by Dr. Antonio Giordano in Fortune Italia, the link can be found here.

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