The long road of drug development
Endurance, enthusiasm and a tolerance of frustration: a researcher has to have all of these. However much expertise is involved, things don’t always go according to plan.
“Setbacks are much more common than success. You take a few steps back, one to the side – and now and again a few steps forward.” Researcher Michael Burgert is very familiar with this route. Having worked in chemical research at Vifor Pharma for over twelve years, he knows that very often you need to keep going over the same rough ground to discover the details that allow you to make progress. “Often it feels like wading through a swamp that keeps on getting deeper. Until you suddenly find the optimal conditions, and finally make it out the other end with an effective product.”
One project comes to an end, another one begins. “We never stand still,” says the researcher. For Michael Burgert, the process starts with a patient need. And then the search for a compound gets going. “We’re currently conducting intensive research into treatment options for people with rare kidney diseases. And as we do so, we keep asking ourselves what we can do to improve their quality of life.”
Both the field of pharmaceutical research in general and Michael Burgert in particular will need a great deal of staying power until the time comes when those patients with kidney disease will reap the benefits of this work. “It’s an amazing feeling to see how a drug can help the people affected. The key milestones in the process give us the satisfaction we need to live each day based on our commitment to keep researching.”