By: Mark Crawford
Human health is an extraordinarily broad field, with multiple, ever-changing, fronts. Pharmaceutical science achievements—breakthroughs in disease therapies, vaccines, biologics, gene therapy, biotechnology, and nanotechnology, for example—have played critical roles over the last 30 years in improving longevity and the quality of life around the world. With these and other successes, the field of pharmaceutical science has expanded to include drug discovery, biotechnology, clinical pharmacology and translational research, formulation design and development, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, biopharmaceutics, and manufacturing science and engineering.
Major discoveries over this time span include hepatitis vaccines, artificial skin, human insulin, statins, cloning, stem cell therapy, human genome mapping, the HPV vaccine, growing human organs from stem cells, and the first vaccines for malaria, Ebola, and dengue fever.
Today’s researchers continue to close in on curing some of the world’s deadliest diseases, such as cancer, AIDS/HIV, and heart disease. Building on decades of research, data, and clinical trials, cross-disciplinary teams of pharmaceutical scientists are collaborating to find the next big breakthroughs that will save millions of lives. These days, it is not just coming up with a new compound, but also the drug delivery system—developing innovative new tools and technologies to get that active pharmaceutical ingredient where it needs to go.
To represent the enormous impact pharmaceutical science has had on global health over the last three decades, the AAPS Newsmagazine’s open access August cover story highlights three key areas of medical advancement: cancer therapies, biologics, and vaccines. Not only will we look at what has already been accomplished in these fields, but also the potential breakthroughs that lie ahead through “vaccinomics,” new biologics, CRISPR-Cas9, the circadian cycle, and more. Share your thoughts on the past 30 years and future 30 years below.