Systems pharmacology: bridging systems biology and pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics (PKPD) in drug discovery and development

Suzanne Minton

Mechanistic PKPD models are now advocated not only by academic and industrial researchers, but also by regulators. A recent development in this area is based on the growing realisation that innovation could be dramatically catalysed by creating synergy at the interface between Systems Biology and PKPD, two disciplines which until now have largely existed in […]

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Can QSP Save Lives? Lessons from a Trial Debacle

Neil Benson

The notion that volunteers could be harmed in a clinical trial is every drug developer’s worst nightmare. Earlier this year, the drug company, Bial, investigated inhibitors of the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) in clinical trials as a treatment for pain. Tragically, one person in the volunteer group died, and six patients were hospitalized. […]

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Topics: Clinical Trial Design, Drug Safety, Model-based Drug Development

Model-Based Drug Development: A Rational Approach to Efficiently Accelerate Drug Development

The pharmaceutical industry continues to face significant challenges. Very few compounds that enter development reach the marketplace, and the investment required for each success can surpass $1.8 billion. Despite attempts to improve efficiency and increase productivity, total investment continues to rise whereas the output of new medicines declines. With costs increasing exponentially through each development […]

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Can QSP Save Lives? Lessons from the Bial Trial Debacle

One of the biggest challenges for the pharmaceutical industry is the high rate of drug attrition in Phase 2 clinical trials, which wastes significant amounts of money and time. The major reasons for this attrition are that either candidate drugs do not show efficacy or have unexpected toxicity, in turn implying that we did not fully understand the complexity of the biology the candidate drugs were designed to modulate.

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A Systems Pharmacology Perspective on the Clinical Development of Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase Inhibitors for Pain

The level of the endocannabinoid anandamide is controlled by fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). In 2011, PF-04457845, an irreversible inhibitor of FAAH, was progressed to phase II clinical trials for osteoarthritic pain. This article discusses a prospective, integrated systems pharmacology model evaluation of FAAH as a target for pain in humans, using physiologically based pharmacokinetic […]

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Systems Pharmacology of the Nerve Growth Factor Pathway: Use of a Systems Biology Model for the Identification of Key Drug Targets Using Sensitivity Analysis and the Integration of Physiology and Pharmacology

The nerve growth factor (NGF) pathway is of great interest as a potential source of drug targets, for example in the management of certain types of pain. However, selecting targets from this pathway either by intuition or by non-contextual measures is likely to be challenging. An alternative approach is to construct a mathematical model of […]

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Reducing Systems Biology to Practice in Pharmaceutical Company Research; Selected Case Studies

Reviews of the productivity of the pharmaceutical industry have concluded that the current business model is unsustainable. Various remedies for this have been proposed, however, arguably these do not directly address the fundamental issue; namely, that it is the knowledge required to enable good decisions in the process of delivering a drug that is largely […]

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