New drug Discovery Technologies // Drug Repurposing

New drug Discovery Technologies

  • Empiriko is working towards creating liver-on-a-chip technology, as displayed in the above image. In the future, researchers will be able to add experimental drug compounds to a chemosynthetic liver (Biomimiks) solution, and a device will display how it is broken down in the liver.Empiriko

In order for a new pharmaceutical drug to be approved for clinical use, it has to be tested on multiple laboratory animals first – a practice that many animal activists work hard to prevent. While rats and other rodents have aided in the development of thousands of drug compounds over the years, many are ultimately euthanized or sacrificed throughout the drug discovery process.

But now, there may be a way to limit the number of animals exploited in the name of medical science. A novel technology developed by researchers at Empiriko may provide a new way to test therapeutic drug candidates and determine drug safety – without using animal models.

It all revolves around the creation of “chemosynthetic livers, ” a newly developed substance that mimics a group of enzymes found in the liver. According to lead researcher Mukund Chorghade, this new innovation acts as a stand-in for the human liver, an essential organ needed for the distribution of small molecule drugs.

“Whenever we take a medicine, our liver enzymes start acting on that particular drug, ” Chorghade, chief scientific officer of Empiriko and president of THINQ Pharma, told “The livers are the organs by which drugs get distributed in the human body, and they are the primary method for excretion, because you don’t want the drug accumulating in your body.”

Chemosynthetic livers.jpgHowever, if the liver does not break down a drug properly, it could potentially have toxic effects on the body. So before researchers can test experimental medications on human subjects, they have to perform a process known as metabolic profiling.

To conduct this portion of their research, the drug being studied is given to animal subjects first. Once the experimental compound does its intended job and is broken down by the liver, the researchers must painstakingly detect any trace amounts of molecular byproducts in the body. Known as metabolites, these “leftovers” are most often responsible for causing unwanted side effects that can ruin an otherwise promising drug candidate.

Although metabolic profiling is a crucial part of the drug research process, it often leads to the death of animal subjects.

“Say you’re testing a compound, and it has to be fed to a rat or a dog. Then you withdraw samples of the drug from the urine, the saliva and the feces, and then you study the distribution of the metabolites throughout those, ” Chorghade said. “The concentrations will be very small, and when you’re done studying them, in many studies, the animals are euthanized at the end of it.”

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An anecdotal response

by invivoVibrio

I have worked in several labs that have produced, either directly or through a spin-off company, real products that are medically useful. Scientists are the ones who create vaccines, design diagnostic devices and tests, and discover useful drugs.
There's a whole spectrum that falls under the title "science," which ranges from the purely discovery-oriented, focusing on just learning more about a topic for learning's sake; to the purely practical, such as so-called translational research, where scientists iron out the details of a practically useful discovery and optimize it for practical applications, "translating" the basic science into something that can be produced and sold by industry

Higher Education Press Pub. Date :2007-7-1 Development of new drug discovery technology platform(Chinese Edition)
Book (Higher Education Press Pub. Date :2007-7-1)

Cancer-Fighting Patch to Treat Mouth Cancer  — Drug Discovery & Development
Ohio State, through the Ohio State Innovation Foundation and the university's Drug Development Institute, and the University of Michigan licensed the intellectual property to the newly formed Sirona Therapeutics.

Wiley-Interscience New Drug Discovery and Development
Book (Wiley-Interscience)
Pharmaceutical Innovation and Public Policy: The Case for a New Strategy for Drug Discovery and Development (Essays on Science, Technology and Public Policy)
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Development and Registration of New Drugs: An Introduction (Postgraduate Pharmacy Series)
Book (Wiley-Blackwell)
Nature Genetics publishes research validating Rigel's drug discovery technology as a powerful new approach to functional genomics.(Brief Article): An article from: BIOTECH Patent News
Book (Biotech Patent News)