What happens in medical research before clinical trials begin?

May 19, 2022 | Kanaaz Pereira, Connect Moderator | @kanaazpereira

When scientific advances burst into the news, such as a new medication to treat COVID-19 or a new concept like CRISPR for gene editing, people get a glimpse of how a scientific idea becomes a treatment or a tool.

But what's the full story?

Where did that idea come from? What happens in the research lab before clinical trials begin? How is scientific discovery transformed into a potential therapy that is ready to be tested in trials with human participants?

Get these answers and more by watching "The Discovery Science Journey"

The process of scientific discovery can be a long, exciting journey. But even when discovery doesn't lead to a therapy — or doesn't lead there yet — research teams often uncover valuable information: new knowledge to advance the science of medicine.

When a discovery is ready, the next step is clinical trials. With human participants, clinical trials test whether a medical intervention, such as a drug, device, or medical procedure, should move into patient care.

Watch this companion video, "The Clinical Trial Journey," to learn more about how clinical trials work.

By Caitlin Doran, originally published in Discovery's Edge

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