What are Preclinical Studies?

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  • Written By: Haven Esme
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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Preclinical studies go by many names, such as nonclinical studies and preclinical development. This type of study is used to define a stage of research that happens before clinical trials or testing on humans can actually start. It has one main goal: to evaluate the safety of a new product.

There are many products that undergo preclinical studies. Some of the most common products to undergo this type of study include drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, and gene therapy solutions. It is important to note that drugs also go through many other testing devices when undergoing preclinical research.

The information obtained from interpreting data in a preclinical study is incredibly valuable. These studies keep hazardous and toxic products from entering the environment and the local community. Through the studies, researchers have been able to speed up drug discoveries and streamline the drug development process. This is especially important for advancing medical technology.

Most preclinical studies involve the use of animals, including mice, chicken, monkeys, and guinea pigs. Researchers test the products on the animals and then observe the effects on the animals' health. Products only pass the studies if they do not affect the animal in a dangerous manner. If a product does not have any dangerous or observable effect on the animals, then testing on humans is often approved.


In addition to understanding the safety of a product, the studies are often used for general research and education as well. Universities, pharmaceutical companies, and research facilities often use preclinical studies to gather scientific and biomedical research. Preclinical studies have evolved over the years. Many research institutions that conduct the studies are adopting policies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of clinical trials.

In some cases, drug discovery is the results of a preclinical study. For example, vaccines are often created by first undergoing such a study. Without the studies, many lifesaving drugs and procedures would not exist today. The studies have resulted in many breakthroughs in medicine and science. It is estimated that millions of lives have been saved through preclinical studies.


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