Diseases & Therapies
In 1948, health is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of sickness or infirmity’. In everyday parlance, we all experience periods of good and bad health, or even both at the same time. Today, the development of advanced therapies is dramatically changing the way patients are treated for a wide variety of diseases. In the dynamic market, new developments in advanced therapy medicinal products grow across the globe, especially cell and gene therapy products.
What is disease?
Generally, disease is understood as any harmful deviation from the normal structural or functional state of an organism, which is associated with certain signs and symptoms. We can consider the definitions of disease with three components. Firstly, there is a change in the normal state of the organism, usually characterized by the abnormal functioning of one or more systems, parts, or organs of the host. Secondly, an identifiable set of signs and symptoms recognized aetiologic agents, or a consistent anatomical change. Thirdly, the potential insufficient to satisfy the demands of life. It is necessary to identify the cause of a disease to determine the correct course of treatment. Through the pathology study, including etiology, pathogenesis, morphological changes, and the functional consequences of those changes, we can more fully understand the development of the disease.
Fig 1. Three components of disease (Hewad, 2013)
Leading causes of death globally
According to a new report from the World Health Organization, coronary heart disease is the biggest killer of the most common causes of death worldwide. It was responsible for 16% of total deaths and killing 8.9 million people in 2019. Noncommunicable diseases such as dementia and diabetes are still growing problems and claiming more lives currently. There have been encouraging improvements that infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis are taking far fewer. Nowadays, the world is still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 has killed more than 1.5 million people. Forecasters predict that COVID-19 may become one of the deadliest diseases in the world by the end of the year.
Fig 2. Number of deaths for all leading causes of death in the U.S. in 2020 (CDC)
The aims of therapeutics
In a broad sense, therapeutics refers to the treatment and care of patients to prevent disease or alleviate pain or injury. Examples of therapeutics involve drug therapy, nutrition therapy, medical devices, cell, and gene therapy. As a rule, there are indications and contraindications for each therapy. In clinical treatment, the tolerability and safety of treatment are as important as rapid control and long-term maintenance of disease. Designing treatment goals may help standardize the use of available treatments to optimize patient care. Today, we might be in a golden age of medicine due to the advancements in advanced therapies, such as cell and gene therapies, which have the potential to lay the foundation for the next big paradigm shift in drug development. Cell therapy is the transplantation of viable cells to replace or repair damaged tissue and/or cells, while gene therapy is an experimental technique to alter the genetic material of patients for the patient to produce healthy cells. After many years of innovative research, Creative Biolabs can help our clients to develop advanced therapies that bring life-changing treatments to patients.
H P. Rang, R G. Hill. The nature of disease and the purpose of therapy. In book: Drug Discovery and Development, 2013 (pp.19-31)
For Research Use Only