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Investigating a system in its healthy, unaffected form is the focus of basic research. This method frequently has the unintended consequence of impairing biological processes that are crucial for comprehending disease.“The pharmaceutical industry doesn’t take on any projects they can’t profit from,” explains Otterlei. “What we develop has to work slightly better than current treatments, and preferably be cheaper to produce and have fewer side effects. Only then can an expensive development run pay off.”Unfortunately, Otterlei’s work didn’t promise a quick turnaround. “What we’re working on is too long-term for most investors,” she says. For 18 years, her group has laid the groundwork for developing ATX-101 outside the pharmaceutical industry. NTNU and other universities are unable to perform as commercial actors or produce medicine.

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