Efficacy and safety of new medicines: a human focus
The introduction of safe and effective new medicines is proving ever more difficult, a problem arguably due at least in part to over-reliance on experimental animal-based test systems. In light of the increasing awareness of the lack of predictiveness of such non-human approaches, the necessity to focus on human-based test methods is clear. There has been considerable progress in human in vivo (microdosing) and in silico approaches, primarily to identify ADMET issues, however, in vitro functional studies using human tissues are receiving inadequate attention. The potential scope of human tissue-based research is considerable, but much methodological development is required, which necessitates an increased willingness on the part of the Pharma industry to support it. This approach also requires considerably improved access to the cells and tissues themselves. While current acquisition is almost exclusively from surgery and post mortem, the range of tissue types, the quantity, quality and frequency of supply will remain inadequate to support human tissue as a key component of pre-clinical efficacy and safety testing. Additional routine access to non-transplantable tissues from organ donors for research purposes would be of inestimable value, but in order to realise this, true collaboration will be required between NHS, the Pharma and biotech industries, and the general public.
KeywordsHeart-beating donors Drug safety TGN1412
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