Testing drugs on worms

Drug discovery is an expensive process because drugs need to be tested for effectiveness and side effects on animals (usually mice) before they can proceed to a human trial. A high proportion of drugs fail during the animal testing, making it a very expensive process. A US company called NemaMetrix has come up with a way to test drugs on Nematode worms. They modify the DNA of the worms with human DNA which NemaMetrix says makes the testing process relevant to 80% of human diseases including cancer, alzheimers, depression, cardiac arrhythmia and others. They can also tailor the DNA of the worm to a particular variant of a disease that an individual has, which makes their system cost effective for drug discovery for rare diseases. Once they have modified the worm’s DNA they stick it into a proprietary measurement system which electrically monitors the worm’s vital signs while the drug is administered and that enables them to track changes and the effectiveness of the drug. Techniques such as these promise new drug discoveries and lower cost drugs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHp9_ucc5V0&feature=youtu.be

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