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New Year, New Drugs

Editor’s Letter

The field of pharmacology has been around for a long time with the first recorded prescriptions finding roots in Ancient Mesopotamia. Since then, drug development and manufacturing has made tremendous advancements. From growing and collecting herbs, we have progressed to utilising new tools and modern equipment to manufacture synthetic drugs. What began as a couple of hundred herbs our ancestors had at their disposal, we now have over 20,000 drugs approved by the Federal Drug Administration in the market with many more in the pipeline.

As we usher in the new year, what are some discoveries and innovations we can look forward to within the field of pharmacology?

In this issue, we have Dr Harish Dave, Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of AUM Biosciences, to discuss today’s shifting paradigm in oncology drug development towards highly selective, minimally toxic, and patient-centric treatments (p.18) and an interview with Liu Qun, Head of IQVIA, China, to share with us more about the Chinese biopharmaceutical market (p.34). We also learn of a novel peptide that can facilitate the delivery of biomacromolecules to cells without killing them (p.6), how we may repurpose antihypertensive drugs for cerebral small vessel disease (p.55), and a potential new drug to better manage obesity (p.56).

Moving away from biopharmaceuticals, antimicrobial resistance has been a cause of concern in recent years and this month, we have a contribution from Jade Pallett, Chief Technology Officer for Zoono UK & Europe, to shed light on how antimicrobial coatings outdo traditional methods of disinfection (p.22). Then, in light of the fourth medical revolution, we speak to Mr Willson Deng, CEO of Arcstone, on the role of digital technology in supporting MedTech manufacturing (p.28).

Finally, in Columns, we have an article contribution from A/Prof Alexandra Sharland, Dr Nicole Mifsud, and Eric Son to elucidate how understanding antigen-specificity of host T cells can reduce organ transplantation rejection (p.14).

As we embark on a new year, the APBN team have lined up some exciting content we can’t wait to share with you. Thank you all for your support and have a happy new year!

Carmen Chan