Researcher Will Use £500,000 Grant to Develop ‘Virtual Lung’
“In a nutshell, more than 90% of drugs fail to reach the market. This is because we lack the capacity to predict the impact of drugs at the systems level, and this comes at a huge cost to pharmaceutical companies,” Kaul said.
In theory, a “virtual medication” would be tested on a computer system that mimics the biological processes of a “virtual patient” — in the case of COPD and other lung diseases, this would be a “virtual lung.”
The goal of this research project, called “The Lung Pharmacome,” is to develop a computerized simulation of a patient lung by 2024. By 2025, the team hopes to carry out patient-specific in silico clinical trials.
Researchers believe that this tool could help make more accurate and timely predictions on therapeutic compounds that may offer benefits to specific patient populations. Further, it could also help healthcare professionals tailor treatment plans according to their patients’ individual needs and disease progression, ultimately improving their clinical outcomes.