From plant-based medicine, to breakthrough discoveries of insulin and penicillin, to targeted therapy and biologics, we have seen colossal advances in drug development. However, common themes amongst industry reports are that pipelines have shrunk, blockbusters are history and the industry has reached a plateau. We have come so far in modern medicine that one could ask, where will we go next?
The answer may be found in bioelectronics, an emerging field focusing on the development of medicines which act on the body’s electrical impulses to restore health to damaged tissues, organs and functions.
Although critics may say this field has not advanced since the development of the pacemaker and defibrillator, there are many who believe electroceuticals are a lucrative opportunity. Tools such as optogenetics have improved the ability to analyze signals and circuits of the nervous system. Moreover, success stories are found in brain-machine interfaces that have led to advances like mind-controlled prosthetic limbs.