Sunday September 21, 2014
According to Nature Aisling Burnand is the new head of the “United Kingdom's largest umbrella group for biomedical-research-funding charities,” the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC). Formerly, she was “senior executive at Cancer Research UK.” Burnand basically lobbies the UK government for more money for research. Regarding research, she stated: “The paradigm needs to change, and perhaps hasn't reached where it needs to get to at the moment. The old model of the pharmaceutical blockbuster — we develop something, we get it to market, we get it out there, it’s a billion dollars — that is gone.”(Cressey 2014)
It is refreshing to see such candor in someone who will be lobbying the UK for money for essentially every aspect of biomedical research but I doubt Burnand will be consistent in applying her facts.
The reason the old paradigm of the blockbuster is dead is the same reason why trans-species modeling for drug development is not effective. Very small differences among evolved, complex systems invalidate the notion that if a drug is safe and effective in a monkey it will be safe and effective in a human. Drugs that are safe and effective in one human have been shown to be unsafe and or ineffective in another human. The science behind Burnand’s statement and Trans-Species Modeling Theory are the same. Only the ignorant or those with a vested interest accept a scientific fact in one case and reject it in another.
Indeed, Burnand states in the same interview: “A separate area is on the animal-research side. The issue is much improved, but the key thing here is that we want to ensure that all politicians understand why animals are used in medical research, so any legislation or thoughts and ideas are handled sensitively and they don’t end up preventing medical researchers from developing life-saving drugs and treatments.” Burnand could not remain consistent even in the same interview and I assure you she will be asking the UK government for more and more funding for animal models.
Cressey, Daniel. 2014. "Charities chief: 'Pharma blockbusters are gone'." Nature, Last Modified September 15, 2014 Accessed September 16. http://www.nature.com/news/charities-chief-pharma-blockbusters-are-gone-1.15849.