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In the development of medicinal products, the important role of in silico modelling is increasingly being realised. It has been predicted that within the next few years up to 15% of drug development budgets will be spent on modelling and simulation, with the aim of saving significant time and money in drug development.
“Simulations can provide valuable insight into optimising the study design” – FDA draft guidance
The primary benefit of in vitro – in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE) is that it maximises the value of prior in vitro information generated during drug discovery and pre-clinical development. By building mechanistic, physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models, in vitro – in vivo extrapolation is able to establish the pharmacokinetic characteristics of a drug in a virtual population. This means that early-phase pharmacokinetic studies become confirmatory rather than exploratory.
Specifically, in vitro – in vivo extrapolation can accelerate the development of a drug by:
- summarising the likely impact of prior information
- posing and answering ‘what if’ questions
- identifying gaps and weighing the importance of missing data
- assisting in the optimal design of the next real experiment.
The integration of drug-specific data with prior knowledge is, of course, not limited to pre-clinical in vitro data and much can be gleaned from incorporating any known clinical data into simulations. With careful handling, physiologically-based pharmacokinetic models can be fit to available clinical data providing scientists with the opportunity to estimate any unknown or uncertain parameters and optimise the value of their existing in vivo data. Simcyp’s automated parameter estimation capabilities provide another powerful tool for informing decision-making in the early clinical stages of drug development.
The Simcyp Simulator continues to evolve and can now be used in the investigation of pharmacodynamics (PD). Further information on Simcyp’s PD module can be found here.