Science operates in a land of discovery, opportunity, inspiration and unremitting hard work.
A company focused on life science, research and development has to account for many things, looking back at what has been achieved and forward to how we can shape our science to combat chronic disease.
It is what makes the start of a new year exciting, promising a fresh start and taking initiatives further into development.
It also affords an opportunity for scientific dreaming, about endless possibilities around how science can be directed for the betterment of mankind, where for a split second we consider what could be.
A pervading influence on medical science thinking these days is the prevalence of chronic diseases, which have effectively become accepted as part of life while representing an ongoing challenge for researchers and clinicians alike.
It’s almost like mankind is faced with a new epidemic, the evolution of chronic disease which, generally speaking, is man-made and an outcome of our 21st-century lifestyle.
And yet lifestyle changes alone are not enough to provide the answers, nor effectively reduce the financial and community burden
We need new scientific approaches since current prescriptive medical responses are also limited in what they can deliver.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare establishes what it sees as the nation’s health priorities and cites eight major chronic diseases – arthritis, asthma, back pain, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and mental health conditions.
These conditions account for the largest expenditure in healthcare costs globally, represent the main causes of disability and death and yet a cure is still awaiting discovery.
Many studies highlight the drama of this – approximately 70 per cent of Australians suffer from a chronic disease, 87 per cent of deaths in Europe are due to chronic disease and caring for people with a chronic disease consume 78 per cent of US government health expenditure.
And the seriousness is compounded by an understanding of potential co-morbidities; the existence of one or more disorders in a patient at the one time.
These issues and statistics are not new.
We have known this for some time but it is the start of a new year that makes us look forward to solving some of the issues.
One factor to consider in all this is that the majority of new drug discovery is aimed at end-stage disease.
Simplistically put, if we take cancer as an example, the primary focus is on a tumour.
But in the process, early and moderate stages of disease progression and the effects of chemotherapy on the body tend to become secondary issues.
This direction of medical science is one of the driving reasons for nutraceuticals gaining more attention, especially when they have a whole of body or systemic focus.
If nutraceuticals are to play a role here (and they can), they must succumb to scientific process to substantiate their position with surrounding analytical and clinical rigour.
All these issues have been part of our thinking at Medlab in 2018, as we have pursued our therapies related to pain management, depression, cardio vascular disease management and diabetes as well as our drug delivery system.
In the year ahead, we want to take all this further forward as we expand our therapeutic toolkit for our patients and look to improving healthcare for those with chronic illnesses.
We welcome the start of 2019 and hope you do too as we look to new scientific horizons.