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Translational research is a major component of biomedical research. It is the expression of an essential need to accelerate the conversion of a scientific discovery into a concrete application that can benefit patients. That is why translational research is developed close to the patient. It involves considerable collaboration between researchers and doctors as it must lead to the transfer of knowledge in both directions. Translational research is the bridge between fundamental research and applied research.
Translational research in medicine leads either to the development of clinical applications based on a discovery made by fundamental research (exploitation), or to indicating the potential of new paths, theories and concepts on the basis of a clinical observation.
It favours investment by pharmaceutical laboratories in the steps involved in developing a candidate drug into a drug that can be administered to a patient. When well organised, translational research permits (and requires) the rapid involvement of industry during the transfer process. Despite the differences in cultures, rationales, values and practices, the objectives remain the same: that of curing! Translational research provides a space of exchange and interconnection between the academic and industrial worlds. These two sectors enrich each other mutually through their differences and neither can do without the other, as each intervenes at different stages.