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Incorporating new approach methodologies into regulatory nonclinical pharmaceutical safety assessment

Turner, Jan; Pound, Pandora; Owen, Carla; Hutchinson, Isobel; Hop, Marina; Chau, David YS; Barrios Silva, Lady V; ... Taylor, Katy; + view all (2023) Incorporating new approach methodologies into regulatory nonclinical pharmaceutical safety assessment. ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation 10.14573/altex.2212081. (In press). Green open access

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New approach methodologies (NAMs) based on human biology enabletheassessment of adverse biological effects of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals. Currently,however, it is unclear how NAMsshould be usedduring drug development to improve human safety evaluation. A series of 5 workshops with 13 international experts (regulators, preclinical scientists and NAMs developers) were conducted to identify feasible NAMsand to discuss how to exploit them in specific safety assessmentcontexts. Participants generated four‘maps’of how NAMs can be exploited in the safety assessment ofthe liver, respiratory, cardiovascular,and central nervous systems. Each map showsrelevant end points measured, tools used (e.g.,cells, assays, platforms), and highlights gaps where furtherdevelopment and validation of NAMs remainsnecessary. Each map addresses the fundamental scientific requirements for the safety assessment of that organ system, providing users with guidance on the selection of appropriate NAMs. In addition to generating the maps, participants offered suggestions for encouraging greater NAM adoption within drug development and their inclusion in regulatory guidelines. A specific recommendation was that pharmaceutical companies should be more transparent about how they use NAMs in-house. As well as giving guidance for the fourorgan systems, the maps providea template that could be used for additional organ safety testing contexts.Moreover, their conversion to an interactive format would enable users to drill down to the detail necessary to answer specific scientific and regulatory questions. 1IntroductionExtensive nonclinical safety studies are undertaken on new pharmaceuticals prior to and alongside clinical trials. Their purpose is to identify and understand the toxic effects of thecompoundin order to determine whether its anticipated benefit versusrisk profile justifies clinical evaluation and, if so, to inform the design and monitoring of clinical studies. The nonclinical safety studies are mandated by regulatory guidelines and include a variety of safety pharmacologyand toxicology investigations.Safety pharmacology studies aimto determinewhether pharmaceuticalscause on-or off-target effects on biological processes which can affect the function of critical organ systems (e.g.,cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal,and central nervous systems)and to assess potency, which is needed to assess safety margins versushuman clinical drug exposure. Safety pharmacology studiesalso help informthe selectionof follow-on investigations that can aid human risk assessmentand may provide insight into mechanismswhich underlie any effectsthat arise in humans.Multiple leading pharmaceutical companies (e.g.,AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis,and Pfizer) have outlined the advantages provided by in vitrosafety pharmacological profiling, including early identification of off-target interactionsandthe prediction ofclinical side effects that may be missed in animalstudies, and have highlighted that these studies enable much more cost-effective and rapid profiling of large numbers of compounds than animal procedures (Bowes et al., 2012).Toxicology studies evaluate systemic organ toxicities, behavioraleffects, reproductive and developmental toxicology, genetic toxicology,eye irritancy and dermal sensitization. They include single and repeat dose studies in rodent and non-rodentanimal species, which identify target organs, assessseverity andreversibility,and define dose-response and no observed adverse effect levels. These are critical parameters which are essential for regulatory decision-makingon whether the compound can be progressed into clinical trials and if so, estimation ofa suitable starting dose,maximum dose, dose escalation regime,andany non-standard clinical safety monitoringthat may be needed.Toxicity observedinnonclinical animal safety studies is an important cause of the high attrition rate of candidate drugs prior to clinicaltrials that occurs inmultiple pharmaceutical companies(Cook et al., 2014).However, many drugs cause clinically serious adverseeffects in humans which are not detectedin animals(Bailey et al., 2015). For example, human drug induced liver injury(DILI),which is not detected in animal safety studies,is animportant cause of attrition late in clinical development, failed licensing and/or of restrictive drug labelling(Watkins, 2011). Attrition due to toxicity observed in animals and/or in humans isanimportant cause of the high failure rate of clinical drug development(Cook et al., 2014; Watkins, 2011; Thomas et al., 2021).New approach methodologies (NAMs)includemethods which predict and evaluate biological processes by which pharmaceuticals may elicit desirable pharmacological effects and/or may cause undesirable toxicity. Many different types of NAMs have been described. Theseinclude simple in vitrocell-based tests, more complex organotypic or microphysiologicalsystems (MPS)/organ-on-a-chipdevices,and whole human tissuesmaintained ex vivo. Interpretation ofthe invivorelevance of the data providedby these methods is complementedbycomputational toolswhichsimulate and predict in vivodrug disposition and kinetics, in particular physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models. Accurate in vitroto in vivoextrapolation isfurther aided by human low-dose testing and microdosing studies (phase 0 testing), which provide precise data on systemic human drug exposure and kineticsin vivo.

Type: Article
Title: Incorporating new approach methodologies into regulatory nonclinical pharmaceutical safety assessment
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.14573/altex.2212081
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.14573/altex.2212081
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: drug development, human-relevant, animal free, toxicity validation, regulatory guidance
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Eastman Dental Institute > Biomaterials and Tissue Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10163453
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