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There’s public science in every single new drug. That was the surprising answer to a U.S. senator’s question about how government-funded research is benefitting citizens. But it took a year to come up with the numbers.
It all started last June when Bentley University professor Fred Ledley and his colleagues in Massachusetts were watching a senate budget hearing that was considering cutting the budget of the National Institutes of Health, the major medical science funding agency in the U.S.
When NIH director Francis Collins was asked how publicly-funded science was leading to new drugs, he couldn’t give a detailed answer. That’s when Ledley realized there was a data gap. Ledley also knew that with modern data mining tools his team could finally answer that question.
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