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A hypothesis is an assumption, or set of assumptions, made on the basis of limited evidence that either:

a) asserts something as a starting point for further investigation; or

b) confirms something as highly probable in light of established facts.

For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, it is required that one can test it. A working hypothesis is a provisionally accepted hypothesis proposed for further research.

For the purposes of medicines development, the interest is in the hypothesis that asserts something – for example that a new treatment for a disease is better than the existing standard of care treatment.

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