Understanding the absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion (ADME), and toxicity (ADME-Tox) of new drugs is a key element of drug discovery. These studies provide insights into the disposition of a pharmaceutical compound in the body, including its safety and efficacy.
Obtaining in vitro ADME-Tox data as early as possible in the drug discovery process has many advantages. For example, the results generated from ADME-Tox studies early in development provide valuable indicators as to whether a compound will have good bioavailability, helping to avoid costly clinical stage failures when drug candidate don’t meet ADME properties or show early signs of being toxic.
One of the key challenges with interpretation of ADME-Tox studies in pre-clinical drug development is identifying the appropriate models that can provide clinically relevant results. While animal models remain one of the most important tools in preclinical ADME-Tox studies, in vitro systems such as culturing primary human cells are becoming increasingly important for decision making in the drug development pipeline.
Below, we outline the use of primary cells in ADME-Tox studies.