• Question: how will you test that your drug works and will cure, fix or help with the problem?

    Asked by Strawberry🍓 to Sudhin, Sergio, Katie, Frances, Diarmuid, Aoife on 20 Nov 2019.
    • Photo: Aoife Campbell

      Aoife Campbell answered on 20 Nov 2019:

      New drugs are put through a number of different trials. They usually start using the drug in cells and if there’s an effect its moved into rodents. Sometimes the drug will then be tested in large animals and finally into healthy human controls before being tested in an unwell individual. My group only looks at drugs in cells and in mice and if there’s a really good effect we can collaborate with a pharmaceutical company to work on developing this further

    • Photo: Katie Fala

      Katie Fala answered on 21 Nov 2019:

      I am checking the effects against a range of dangerous bacteria, I measure how much they can talk to oneanother and how their behaviour changes when we interfere with their communications. Then I probably will measure the effects of combining it with existing antibiotics to see if it improves sensitivity of the pathogenic bacteria to being killed by the antibiotic. Once these lab-based tests show that it is effective, the next thing that will be looked at is how safe it could be, so if there are unexpected toxicities/side effects when we apply it to complex systems like the human body, the microbiota (bacteria living inside the gut) or even food safety if it is used to prevent ‘bad’ bacteria from contaminating food and make us sick. Eventually it would need to pass a series of phases in clinical trials before it could be marketed.