Near the nation’s capital, on the campus of the National Institutes of Health, sits Building 10: the largest hospital in the world devoted solely to research. Inside, our country’s most brilliant scientific minds carry out some of medicine’s riskiest and most critical research, testing new treatments in people for the very first time.
With unprecedented access to the halls of Building 10, First in Human reveals for the first time how the medical breakthroughs of tomorrow make their way out of the hi-tech research laboratories and into the hands of our world’s medical professionals. The series explores the lives of the doctors, researchers, and patients who together make progress possible in this cutting-edge testing ground. Narrated by Emmy,® Golden Globe®, and Critics Choice® winning actor Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory,” “Hidden Figures,”) directed by Emmy winner John Hoffman, and executive produced by Hoffman and Emmy winner Dyllan McGee, the three-part documentary series begins airing in August 10 at 9pm ET/PT exclusively on Discovery.
Because the treatments they’re testing are so new and their outcomes are entirely unknown, the doctors leading first in human trials at Building 10 can only partner with patients who have exhausted the options the medical establishment has to offer. This doctor-patient partnership is utterly unique to medicine: live or die, each of these brave “first in human” volunteers immediately becomes part of medical history. Previous trials in the building led to the development of modern chemotherapy treatments, the first treatments for HIV/AIDS, and the first successful gene therapy.
First In Human represents the first time cameras have embedded in Building 10 and followed first in human patients throughout their entire trial. This unique access is the product of Hoffman’s nearly twenty years of filmmaking in partnership with the NIH on projects such as The Alzheimer’s Project and The Weight of the Nation.
“NIH’s Building 10 has given generations hope when they need it most,” comments Rich Ross, Group President, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Science Channel, and Velocity. “We are proud that the NIH has invited Discovery inside their doors for an unvarnished look at how these brave men and women work hand in hand with their doctors and technologists to seek cures to the most confounding diseases that exist.”
“Because of the very nature of first in human trials, most of the patients who enter Building 10 to enroll in them are remarkably unique: all standard care out in the world has failed them,” says Hoffman. “What was most powerful about embedding in Building 10 and following these trials was observing how the doctors and patients came to rely on each other in a true partnership to advance medicine.”