There are two activities in medical science in which both the academic research community and clinical development industry are truly terrible at achieving results, or indeed even at getting started at all. The first is transfer of programs from academia to industry. The renowned valley of death in the development of new medical biotechnologies is very real; so very many programs languish undeveloped simply because neither side can effectively coordinate with the other. The second is the testing of synergies between multiple therapies that are applied at the same time to the same patient for the treatment of the same condition. We live in a world in which age-related conditions are the result of multiple distinct contributing mechanisms, so why is it that the exploration and application of combined therapies targeting separate mechanisms is such a rare occurrence?
Firstly, different therapies tend to be owned by different groups (companies or universities) who have only limited incentives to collaborate with one another. Because the biotech field is governed in a very heavy-handed way by intellectual property and other forms of government regulation, setting up a collaboration is a costly matter. Thus in a world
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