How Curiosity Drives Scientists
13 years – this is how long scientists work, on average, on the development of a new medication. Yet despite working on a drug for over a decade, the chances of it actually being approved are quite small. The biggest obstacle is the failure rate; the molecules which form a therapeutic drug need to fulfill specific efficacy, tolerability, and manufacturability requirements. In the field of oncology, there are also additional hurdles, like constantly changing therapeutic standards. All of this means that scientists engaged in pharmaceutical research need to have a high tolerance for frustration, and something special inside that keeps them motivated to continue researching.
So how do our scientists remain motivated despite these lengthy and often fruitless processes? What drives our researchers? In a word, curiosity. Klaus Urbahns, Head of Discovery and Development Technologies, explains: “What matters is curiosity and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve patients’ lives using state-of-the-art technology.” Our scientists’ attitude can be summed up in the phrase “the patient is waiting,” and this is what repeatedly motivates and inspires them to press ahead. Dong Zhang, who conducts research in the field of immuno-oncology, adds: “My scientific curiosity is driven by my passion and my desire to change patients’ lives.”