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SUBSTITUTE OF ANIMALS: IN-SILICO TRIALS

For decades, drug testing is done on either humans or animals. Millions of dollars and hard work used for proper working medication. However, these testings give no guarantee of working. Moreover, they threaten the life of the creature. The experiments are hazardous and harmful. But, what if we could conduct clinical trials on virtual bodies that have similar human physiology? With the help of artificial intelligence and advances in medicine, in-silico trials may become a reality in the coming years. 

IN-SILICO CLINICAL TRIALS

Technology is transforming in every aspect. From healthcare, medicine to the pharma industry, technology is doing magic. Clinical trials on animals or humans are very dangerous. The results are unknown. Hence, the experiments may risk their lives. Further, its cruelty against any species to perform tests on them.

In-silico clinical trials are individualized computer simulation. It is for the development or regulatory evaluation of a medicinal product, device, or intervention. For example, human organs-on-chips and in silico experiments. In-silico trials require no humans, no animals, and not even a single cell. Most importantly, the impact of these trials can give us perfect results. Scientists describe the term as the simulation and visualization of biological and medical processes through computers. 

However, these trials are not entirely feasible. Lots of drawbacks are present. Further, the in-silico trial requires more technological advancements. Scientists are currently working on making the method more efficient and effective. The development would make significant benefits over current in vivo clinical trials. Likewise, the FDA is also planning for a future with more clinical trial data that will come from computer simulations. The main advantage of in silico trials is understanding the effects of new drugs or treatment options on a virtual setting. And, in fact, without harsh consequences on either animals or humans. They also enhance personalized medicine which, allows doctors to try out treatment plans. Besides, they get to know the behavior of drugs or identify the most effective drug dosage.

In-Silico Trials

VIRTUAL BODIES FOR REAL DRUGS

The Virtual Physiological Human Institute is a cross-industry collaboration and an international non-profit organization. Their mission is to ensure the Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) gets recognition and universally adopted in research and clinical settings. Various medical sectors can collaborate with the VPH framework. For example, the CARDIOPROOF initiative brought together more than 170 cardiologists to create personalized tools to manage heart disease with advanced computer models. Another similar action is the Osteoporotic Virtual Physiological Human Project. They predict the risk of fracture in patients with low bone mass. 

Recent developments show that both pharma companies and medical facilities can make in-silico medicine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also picked up on the potential of in silico trials. Moreover, they are actively supporting the development of virtual models for the testing of new medical devices.

The drug development and new therapy experimentation will mostly happen through in silico trials in the future. We can experiment on virtual bodies accurately. This will not harms humans or animals.  However, there are many challenges to face. Scientists have to make sure the process is custom, cheaper, and more efficient. Drugs introduced in the market without being tested on actual humans.

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