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The Hard Cell

Developing new compounds for pharmacological applications involves a series of well established steps, including the design of small molecules and their synthesis, testing compounds using in vitro methods, and the assessment of compound activity in vivo, employing animal and human trials. Notably, the cost of this process increases as a drug advances further along the process towards market. For a compound to advance, it must satisfy stringent criteria before the decision to invest further in its development is made. There is continual review of the drug development process within the pharmaceutical industry to introduce new approaches to develop compounds in more efficient and costeffective ways. It is important to have stringent tests in order to avoid investing in compounds that will fail later in the development process. The key is to identify when to abort research and development of a particular candidate, and to learn from the experience.

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Dr Stefan Przyborski is the founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Reinnervate, a spinout company from Durham University, which aims to develop new ways to manage the growth and function of cultured cells. Stefan also holds an academic position as Reader in Stem Cell Biology at Durham University. He has over 18 years’ experience in cell biology, has published more than 60 scientific papers and has filed several patents. More recently, he has developed multi-disciplinary approaches through collaborative projects with physical scientists to develop novel ways of solving biological problems.
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Stefan Przyborski
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