Towards a 21st-century roadmap for biomedical research and drug discovery: consensus report and recommendations

Gillian R. Langley*, Ian M. Adcock, François Busquet, Kevin M. Crofton, Elena Csernok, Christoph Giese, Tuula Heinonen, Kathrin Herrmann, Martin Hofmann-Apitius, Brigitte Landesmann, Lindsay J. Marshall, Emily Mcivor, Alysson R. Muotri, Fozia Noor, Katrin Schutte, Troy Seidle, Anja van de Stolpe, Hilde van Esch, Catherine Willett, Grzegorz Woszczek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Decades of costly failures in translating drug candidates from preclinical disease models to human therapeutic use warrant reconsideration of the priority placed on animal models in biomedical research. Following an international workshop attended by experts from academia, government institutions, research funding bodies, and the corporate and nongovernmental organisation (NGO) sectors, in this consensus report, we analyse, as case studies, five disease areas with major unmet needs for new treatments. In view of the scientifically driven transition towards a human pathway-based paradigm in toxicology, a similar paradigm shift appears to be justified in biomedical research. There is a pressing need for an approach that strategically implements advanced, human biology-based models and tools to understand disease pathways at multiple biological scales. We present recommendations to help achieve this.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-339
Number of pages13
JournalDrug Discovery Today
Issue number2
Early online date29 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • biomedical research
  • research funding
  • adverse outcome pathways
  • 21st-century roadmap
  • human-specific models
  • human disease pathways


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