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In Silico and Ex Silico ADME Approaches for Drug Discovery

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The high attrition rate of drug candidates during clinical trials for poor pharmacokinetic and metabolic properties has created a need to do these studies as early as it is possible during the drug discovery process.

In addition the most successful drug is often not the most potent one but the one that has the suitable level of potency, safety, and pharmacokinetics. Science and technology development during the last few years and the generation of last databases and information has created the basis for doing early experimental PK and ADME studies in addition to eADME. Similarly, testing safety features as early as possible is key to affordable drug discovery and development.

Throughput and cost are crucial for early application. In silico methods have by far the highest throughput, followed by the in vitro and in vivo approaches. On the other hand, with regard to relevance and reliability of data the ranking is the opposite. The great challenge for in silico methods is generation of models that correlate more closely with in vivo systems. For the in vitro assays increasing the throughput is an absolute must.

Ex silico methods that combine in silico predictions with experimental methods are new additions to the scientific repertoire (e.g. Chromatographic Hydrophobicity Index that is deduced from the reverse phase HPLC data can be used for calculation of lipophilicity). The emerging new approaches have clear impact on the design of early stage screening and combinatorial libraries. In addition to the Lipinski's rules descriptors such as number of rotatable bonds, number of aromatic rings, branching behavior and polar surface area (PSA) are commonly used is the drug design process.
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Keywords: Chromatographic; Hydrophobicity Index; Metabolic Databases; Silico; Theoretical Models

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2002-12-01

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