Screening Drug Metabolism - Reducing Drug Development Costs

Reducing drug development costs is a major issue for the pharmaceutical sector. CPI, in a collaborative venture with the University of Sunderland and the University of Teesside are developing a novel system to screen for the major routes of drug metabolism in the human body. The project addresses the urgent need to simplify current approaches, making the process quicker and more cost effective.

Aims of the Screening Drug Metabolism Project

The project builds upon the existing relationship between the University of Sunderland and some of the companies that form the pharmaceutical sector in the UK. It also strengthens the newly established Teesside Centre for Nanotechnology & Microfabrication in their microfluidic and lab-on-a-chip fabrication capabilities. The aim of the project is to innovate analytical systems that will provide rapid information on the major routes of metabolism for new drug candidates.

The Importance of Drug Metabolism Information

Such drug metabolism information is needed prior to expensive in vivo animal testing and experimentation using human volunteers. Having more accurate information at an early stage helps to minimise animal testing in the overall drug innovation lifecycle. Currently, these preliminary tests are performed using the enzymes that are known to metabolise drugs, or using preparations of cell extracts from liver tissue, the major source of these enzymes.

How the Metabolism Information is Derived

Candidate drugs are incubated with solutions or suspensions of the enzyme before the product is analysed (following a complicated extraction and analytical process).

Expected Outcomes of the Drug Metabolism Screening Project

The project will enable the whole process to be automated and performed in a single and integrated step. Systems will be evaluated against current methods used by the pharmaceutical industry and, if successful, will be of considerable commercial interest to industry.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by CPI.

For more information on this source, please visit CPI.

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