Research and Drug Discovery

Clinical trial success rates for new drugs are as low as 10%, driven by the unmet need for laboratory methods that can predict a treatment’s impact on real patients. For many diseases, our tools for pre-clinical drug discovery are even more limited. For instance, promising results in laboratory animals treatments have translated into clinical trial success for less than 1% of new drugs to treat Alzheimer’s Disease.

Meanwhile, taking an investigational new drug through clinical trials costs on average close to $1 billion. This makes developing new therapies an expensive, high-risk proposition, stifling the advancement of medicine. New laboratory models are needed that can capture the complexities of human tissues.

Advances in human tissue banking could allow donor tissues that currently must be discarded to instead be used for pre-clinical drug testing, making a powerful new experimental platform available to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Tissue banking could also make cutting-edge approaches such as organs-on-a-chip practical and inexpensive at scale.

This would translate into more lifesaving therapies reaching the clinic and could reduce the aggregate cost of developing new medicines by hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

The impact on basic medical research could be equally profound. For example, a National Cancer Institute official identified inadequate tissue preservation as the number one roadblock to cancer cures. Across many fields, banking of functional tissues can increase the quality and reliability of data while making new experimental approaches possible.