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When a scientific research project is established, it should not be a castle in the sky or a moon in the water.The reason why people created it and promoted it is to hope that it will eventually be applied to reality.And practice is the light that shines scientific research projects from theoretical ideas into reality.It will tell the researchers the practical significance of the research project, which is the starting point of the project; it will also tell the researchers how the project should meet the actual needs, which is the direction of the project's development.We always believe that without practice, scientific research projects will lose their practical significance and cannot truly meet the actual needs of the public and its promotion and realization are meaningless.
This is especially true for the research and development of medical products.The research and development of medical products has determined from the beginning that it will eventually reach the people who need it-patients and medical workers.If even its beneficiaries cannot understand, accept and learn to use it, its existence will be meaningless.Because of this, the practice of medical products is particularly important. We need to tell patients what we are doing and at the same time we need to listen to their voices and collect their demands.We need to tell the doctor what we are doing and ask for their opinions and suggestions. We need to tell the public through practice what kind of connection our products have with them, so that they can understand that we are not making and selling products for profit, but doing a scientific research work that is beneficial to them and closely related to them.Only through practice can we understand and resonate with each other, and finally present the truly useful scientific research results that are widely accepted by the public.We always believe that the research and development of medical products cannot be separated from the communication and resonance of patients, doctors and scientific researchers.
This is especially true for the research and development of medical products.The research and development of medical products has determined from the beginning that it will eventually reach the people who need it-patients and medical workers.If even its beneficiaries cannot understand, accept and learn to use it, its existence will be meaningless.
Because of this, the practice of medical products is particularly important. We need to tell patients what we are doing and at the same time we need to listen to their voices and collect their demands.We need to tell the doctor what we are doing and ask for their opinions and suggestions. We need to tell the public through practice what kind of connection our products have with them, so that they can understand that we are not making and selling products for profit, but doing a scientific research work that is beneficial to them and closely related to them.Only through practice can we understand and resonate with each other, and finally present the truly useful scientific research results that are widely accepted by the public.We always believe that the research and development of medical products cannot be separated from the communication and resonance of patients, doctors and scientific researchers.
In the integrated human practice part, In order to realize this vision, we run through the entire project process with two main lines.
On the one hand, we pay close attention to COVID-19 and its impact. From the three aspects of the origin, progress, and prognosis of COVID-19, the publicity of wildlife protection promotion in cooperation with the public welfare organization SK SUNNY, public science popularization, and exploration of the possible role of projects in the prognosis were carried out.
On the other hand, we use the development of the project as the main line of HP: online interviews with project stakeholders have strengthened our original intention; exchanges with doctors and professors, and in-depth dialogue with patients with pneumoconiosis and silicosis to clarify the current shortcomings and improvement directionsof the project. At the same time, we are also actively exploring the interaction between the project and the society, creating more possibilities through open classes, in-depth research, and corporate cooperation. After the project is completed, we will use the form of public welfare challenges to show the society the diseases we are committed to and our creative scientific research results, and exchange the value of the project and future vision with stakeholders.
The preparation stage of the subject
In order to make the subject more clinically valuable, in the preparation stage of the subject, we consulted Professor Ouyang Liang who has experience in drug development. Professor Ouyang and we analyzed the background and pros and cons of common diseases of fibrosis. Through discussions with the professor, we finally choose to design drugs for pulmonary fibrosis.
However, our team's understanding of the specific pathogenesis and disease process of fibrotic diseases is not thorough enough. In order to find the most suitable target and the focus of the project in synthetic biology research, we visited Professor Huiqi Xie and got her full support. Professor Xie is an expert in stem cell and tissue engineering, and is also very experienced in the research of fibrotic diseases. Under the guidance and enlightenment of Professor Xie, through a large number of literature readings, we chose TGF-β as a drug target to inhibit the process of fibrosis.
The preliminary design and value exploration of the subject
After determining the development direction and research core of the project, we began to actively communicate with the directly related parties of the project to ensure the true value of our project and make meaningful corrections to the project.
On the one hand, we distributed and collected nearly 180 questionnaires to investigate the public's understanding of the clinical application of fibrotic diseases and recombinant protein drugs. What's more, at the end of the questionnaire, we attached a list of basic knowledge about the project's research disease-pulmonary fibrosis in order to achieve the purpose of knowledge promotion. The statistical results of the questionnaire show that the public knows little about the risk factors of pulmonary fibrosis, and hardly know the use of recombinant protein drugs in the clinic, especially the treatment of fibrotic diseases. This result strengthened our determination to advance the project and also made us decide to carry out a vivid and scientific explanation of the basic knowledge of lung fibrosis and the content of our project.
On the other hand, We conducted online interviews with respiratory doctors and pulmonary fibrosis patients in several municipal hospitals, and asked them about the current treatment methods for pulmonary fibrosis, therapeutic effects, and the use of recombinant protein drugs. From their answers, we further know that the current therapeutic effects of drugs are not ideal, the financial burden of patients is also very large, and the use of recombinant protein drugs is very rare or not.
These answers helped us clearly understand the practical significance of the project and the issues that need attention, and also made our project planning clearer.
Advised by Professor Ding Tong-sen, an expert in the area of regeneration and fibrosis organ repairment, we chose to introduce probes into the drug design to enhance the drug's targeting ability to the lesions so that the toxic and side effects can be depressed.
The improvement of the project design and the preliminary display of the project
After clarifying that our project has real practical significance and a clear development direction, we sought the advice and guidance of several very experienced experts.
Professor Ding Fusen is an expert in the regeneration and repair of lung and liver organs. Under his suggestion, we chose to introduce probes into drug design to enhance the ability of drugs to target lesions and reduce toxic side effects.
Professor Wan gave us a great help in the construction of the model for drug verification. She is an expert in lung development research, and she proposed the feasibility of using PU-SIS materials to build lung organoid models to improve the existing lung fiber models in simulating patients' breathing air.
At the academic meeting of the State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, we reported our project design and received positive evaluations from Professor Chen Chong and Professor Wang Yuan. Professor Chen Chong agreed with our design strategy to replace small molecule drugs with humanized recombinant proteins to reduce adverse side effects. Professor Yuan Wang believes that it is feasible to use animal and clinical studies to prove safe and functional components.
These professors gave us a good evaluation and affirmation of the project, and also put forward many very meaningful amendments.
Mid-term promotion and Progress correction of the subject
In May and June 2020, we prepared a complete set of business planning documents for the market, product positioning and target groups for the product, in an attempt to simulate the various situations in which the product was introduced to the market, and propose a comprehensive solution. We used this program to participate in the 6th "Internet +" Sichuan University Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition and won the provincial silver award. The expert judges from Sichuan Province highly affirmed the value of our project, and at the same time gave many enlightening suggestions on the marketing and business model of the final results of the project.
In the middle of the project, in order to learn more about pulmonary fibrosis disease and pay attention to the needs of patients and make reasonable adjustments to our project, we visited Dr. Tang who has extensive experience in the treatment of lung diseases.
Professor Tong generously shared his unpublished data and treatment experience, which gave us great inspiration for drug design. In addition, he introduced us to the current development status of pulmonary fibrosis treatment. From his point of view, the biggest challenge in treating the disease is that we currently have no solution for end-stage pulmonary fibrosis, and the fibrosis cannot be reversed. Under her introduction, we have eliminated many doubts in the middle of the project and have more inspiration for the project.
In August 2020, the team participated in the Nanjing Conference together with other universities. We presented our project ideas at the conference. GenScript Biotechnology Co., Ltd. put forward suggestions on the direction of the project human practice. They believe that we need to innovate further in the model. Specific directions include research on the needs of patients with pulmonary fibrosis, cost analysis of existing market drugs, and more in-depth exchanges with companies. In addition, the participating teachers also proposed that the atomization model can use the physical model to simulate diffusion. This helped us to improve our experimental model and get more ideal results.
At the beginning of September 2020, we interviewed a group leader of a patient exchange community with more than 2,000 pulmonary fibrosis patients. She is a retired teacher and a patient with pulmonary fibrosis for 11 years. She told us that people with pulmonary fibrosis are very disappointed with the existing medications. Because the existing new drugs have great side effects and minimal effects, but the prices are very high, patients begin to feel distrustful of modern medicine, and they are very resistant to the tentative treatment of new western medicine.
Our team was deeply touched and understood more the humanistic care spirit that should be upheld on the road of pulmonary fibrosis treatment research. We also know that what patients need is safe and inexpensive therapeutic drugs, which gives us great hints on the direction of the final project results. At the same time, we also discovered the urgency of popularizing the basic knowledge of pulmonary fibrosis to the public so that they can have a basic understanding of pulmonary fibrosis.
In order to further understand the background and treatment status of pulmonary fibrosis disease, we visited Professor Fan Hong. Professor Fan Hong has been engaged in frontline clinical work and medical teaching for a long time and has been responsible for a number of international cooperative research projects. We gained suggestions and positive comments on our drug design strategy from Dr. Fan. She praised our focus on major human diseases and believed that our strategy of choosing TGF-β receptor truncation to block the progression of lung fibrosis is meaningful. What’s more, she emphasized the extension of clinical value of our drug design and believed that our drug would not only be useful for IPF treatment but also be useful for progressive pulmonary fibrosis, which is a disease with a large number of patients, difficult treatment, and rapid progress under specific stimulation.This makes us think about the expansion of the project and the update of the application field.
The events mentioned above are of great significance to the problems solving and periodic planning of our project in the mid-term. They make us more clear about the experimental ideas and solve some problems in the experimental process
The meaning of the project and public promotion
In the later stages of the project, we already have basic results, so we hope to communicate with the outside world what we have done in the past year and hope to get comments and suggestions for future development.
In the final stage of the project, we interviewed passers-by on the street, aiming to popularize knowledge about pulmonary fibrosis disease and the products of this project to the public, enhance empathy with patients, introduce our project and interview them about their evaluation of our project and future prospects. During the activity, the interviewees felt the ventilation difficulty of patients with pulmonary fibrosis by squeezing and touching the sponge ball, and understood that the current treatment methods of pulmonary fibrosis are limited, with few targeted drugs and poor efficacy.
After learning about the research products of our project, everyone expressed their support and expectations for this project, hoping to bring a better tomorrow for patients with pulmonary fibrosis.