Certara’s Simcyp Division Launches Quantitative Systems Toxicology Initiative

December 6, 2016

Simcyp is awarded several grants to use mechanistic modeling to improve the understanding of safety and risk assessment in medicines and chemicals

PRINCETON, NJ – Dec. 6, 2016 – Certara®, the leading provider of decision support technology and consulting services for optimizing drug development and improving health outcomes, today announced that it is extending its activities relating to drug safety assessment by establishing a new strategic Quantitative Systems Toxicology (QST) initiative. The initiative, which will be managed by the company’s Simcyp division, leverages its Quantitative Systems Pharmacology (QSP) expertise and the investment already made in the development of its Cardiac Safety Simulator (CSS).

In addition to the strategic and sizable resources that Certara has already committed to this initiative, the launch is strengthened by the award of several significant grants, including the EU-ToxRisk project, a collaboration with the US EPA to accelerate the shift in toxicology towards a new mechanism-based chemical safety testing strategy. Simcyp’s work will focus on developing organ-specific mechanistic models to strengthen drug safety assessments. This work will further enable the industry to move away from animal testing toward mechanistic modeling of the cause-consequence relationships of chemical adverse effects.

“Thirty percent of adverse drug reactions cannot be predicted by current pre-clinical animal testing and existing modeling methodologies,” said Certara Chief Executive Officer Edmundo Muniz, MD, PhD. “Mechanistic modeling, and specifically QST, has the potential to address this very sizable challenge. We believe that the time is right to invest in this paradigm-shifting approach and form this new program within Simcyp.”

“We have been encouraged both by the award of various publicly-funded grants and by our pharmaceutical industry clients, to extend and expand our activities in the area of QST beyond cardiac safety assessment and more broadly embrace all drug safety areas,” said Simcyp President and Managing Director Steve Toon, PhD. “As with physiologically-based pharmacokinetics and QSP, the market, recognizing deficiencies in currently commercially available drug safety related software and consultancy services, has turned to Simcyp with its demonstrated commitment to high quality, peer-review research and software development, to harness the increasing understanding of the mechanistic determinants of drug-related toxicities and develop predictive software tools for use in the continued drive to improve drug safety.”

QST takes toxicology beyond characterizing adverse events on the basis of empirical endpoints and focuses instead on modes of action and adverse outcome pathways. It integrates in vitro and in vivo toxicity data with the wealth of “omics data” (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, etc.) available via computational modeling. “Off-target” reactions are critical to understanding adverse safety events because these reactions cannot be predicted from a drug’s known pharmacological properties.

Certara is the first company in the industry to offer fully integrated QSP and QST biosimulation services, allowing for a simultaneous assessment of efficacy, safety, and therapeutic index. This holistic, quantitative approach to managing risk-benefits is essential in complex drug development programs such as immuno-oncology combination therapies.

About Certara

Certara is a leading decision support technology and consulting organization committed to optimizing drug development and improving health outcomes. Certara’s solutions, which span drug discovery through patient care, use the most scientifically-advanced modeling and simulation technologies and regulatory strategies to increase the probability of regulatory and commercial success. Its clients include hundreds of global biopharmaceutical companies, leading academic institutions, and key regulatory agencies.

Certara Contact:
Ellen Leinfuss, 609-216-9586
Chief Marketing Officer

Media Contact:
Lisa Osborne, 206-992-5245
Rana Healthcare Solutions
lisa@ranahealth.com

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