Pre-clinical development

Pre-clinical development

In drug development, preclinical development, also named preclinical studies and nonclinical studies, is a stage of research that begins before clinical trials (testing in humans) can begin, and during which important feasibility, iterative testing and drug safety data are collected.
The main goals of pre-clinical studies are to determine the safe dose for first-in-man study and assess a product's safety profile. Products may include new medical devices, drugs, gene therapy solutions and diagnostic tools.
On average, only one in every 5,000 compounds that enters drug discovery to the stage of preclinical development becomes an approved drug.
The information collected from these studies is vital so that safe human testing can begin. Typically, in drug development studies animal testing involves two species. The most commonly used models are murine and canine, although primate and porcine are also used.
gut, enzyme activity, circulatory system, or other considerations make certain models more appropriate based on the dosage form, site of activity, or noxious metabolites. For example, canines may not be good models for solid oral dosage forms because the characteristic carnivore intestine is underdeveloped compared to the omnivore's, and gastric emptying rates are increased. Also, rodents can not act as models for antibiotic drugs because the resulting alteration to their intestinal flora causes significant adverse effects. Depending on a drug's functional groups, it may be metabolized in similar or different ways between species, which will affect both efficacy and toxicology.
Medical device studies also use this basic premise. Most studies are performed in larger species such as dogs, pigs and sheep which allow for testing in a similar sized model as that of a human. In addition, some species are used for similarity in specific organs or organ system physiology (swine for dermatological and coronary stent studies; goats for mammary implant studies; dogs for gastric and cancer studies; etc.).
Importantly, the regulatory guidelines of FDA, EMA, and other similar international and regional authorities usually require safety testing in at least two mammalian species, including one non-rodent species, prior to human trials authorization.

 


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