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Biomedicina al revés

LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA – Los expertos llevan mucho tiempo prediciendo que la biología marcará el siglo XXI, así como la física marcó el siglo XX, pero las investigaciones biomédicas aún no han alcanzado el tipo de aumentos de la productividad que acompañaron a la industrialización de la combustión, la electricidad y la electrónica. ¿Resultará ser el “siglo de la biología” poco más que una fantasía?

El problema se reduce en gran medida a una reducción del gasto en la investigación y la  innovación biomédicas. Así las cosas, en ese sector se invierten unos 270.000 millones de dólares al año, lo que produce un impresionante medio millón de publicaciones de investigación, pero sólo entre veinte y treinta medicamentos nuevos.

La discrepancia entre el gasto y la producción corresponde a lo que se ha llegado a conocer como “ley de Eroom”: ley de Moore al revés. La ley de Moore se basa en el aumento de la capacidad de computación de los ordenadores con el paso del tiempo: concretamente, que el número de transistores que se pueden colocar sin que resulte oneroso en un circuito integrado se duplica al cabo de entre 18 y 24 meses. En cambio, la ley de Eroom representa el retroceso en la aprobación de nuevos medicamentos, en vista de que los costos de la creación de un nuevo medicamento se duplican cada nueve años, aproximadamente.

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