Texas AM Engineering/Flickr

Biomedizin im Rückwärtsgang

LA JOLLA, KALIFORNIEN – Experten sagen seit Langem voraus, dass die Biologie das einundzwanzigste Jahrhundert beherrschen würde, genau wie die Physik das zwanzigste Jahrhundert beherrscht hat. Doch die biomedizinische Forschung muss erst noch solche Produktivitätssteigerungen erreichen, wie sie die Industrialisierung von Verbrennung, Elektrizität und Elektronik begleiteten. Wird sich das „Jahrhundert der Biologie“ lediglich als Hirngespinst erweisen?

Das Problem kann großenteils auf einen Rückgang der Ausgaben für die biomedizinische Forschung und Entwicklung zurückgeführt werden. Derzeit werden ungefähr 270 Milliarden US-Dollar auf dem Gebiet investiert, die stattliche 500 000 Forschungspublikationen hervorbringen, allerdings nur 20 bis 30 neue Medikamente.

Die Diskrepanz zwischen Ausgaben und Ergebnis folgt dem sogenannten „eroomschen Gesetz“ – das ist das mooresche Gesetz rückwärts gelesen. Das mooresche Gesetz beschreibt die Zunahme der Verarbeitungskapazität von Computern im Laufe der Zeit – insbesondere dass sich die Anzahl der Transistoren, die kostengünstig auf einem integrierten Schaltkreis untergebracht werden können, alle 18-24 Monate verdoppelt. Das eroomsche Gesetz hingegen führt die Rückschritte bei der Zulassung neuer Medikamente auf und stellt fest, dass sich die Entwicklungskosten für ein neues Medikament ungefähr alle neun Jahre verdoppeln.

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