UCSF

Giacomini cites increasing impact of quantitative pharmacology

Pharmaceutical companies will increasingly apply the predictive modeling of quantitative pharmacology to do more efficient drug development, says Kathy Giacomini, PhD, co-chair of the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences (BTS), a joint department of the UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine, and its new Center for Quantitative Pharmacology.

Interviewed in the wake of the recent symposium launching the center, Giacomini notes that new drug candidates that work in vitro and in animal models are mostly failing in Phase 2 and 3 of clinical trials due to a lack of efficacy or safety issues.

But she says the use of data-driven computer models could help to better predict off-target receptor interactions and downstream systemic effects that can yield side effects and toxicity.

Also, pharmacogenetic testing and modeling for, say, drug metabolism, allows later-stage human drug trials to be tailored to fewer test subjects who are more likely to respond to a drug and less likely to experience toxicity, says Giacomini. Thus quantitative pharmacology approaches can yield a more predictable cost-efficient product pipeline for industry and better drugs sooner for people.

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