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Pharmacodynamics in the development of new immunosuppressive drugs.

Burkhart, Christoph, Heusser, Christoph, Morris, Randall, Raulf, Friedrich, Weckbecker, Gisbert, Weitz Schmidt, Gabriele and Welzenbach, Karl (2004) Pharmacodynamics in the development of new immunosuppressive drugs. Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, 26 (6). pp. 588-592. ISSN 0163-4356


Over the past 10-20 years a number of immunosuppressive drugs, such as cyclosporine A, tacrolimus, sirolimus, or mycophenolate mofetil have been approved for clinical use and have been highly successful in preventing or delaying graft rejection. Nevertheless, there is an incessant need for better and safer drugs to improve short-term and long-term outcomes following transplantation. A number of low-molecular-weight molecules that interfere with immune cell functions are in development. These include molecules that inhibit the janus protein tyrosine kinase JAK3, compounds that alter lymphocyte trafficking (the sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor antagonist FTY720), and new malononitrilamides (FK778). All seem to show promising therapeutic potential. Among the biologic agents, there are high expectations for antibodies or recombinant chimeric molecules targeting costimulatory surface molecules or pathways involved in the migration of immune cells. The list of such targets includes the ligand pairs CD28:B7, CD154:CD40, LFA-1:ICAM-1, ICOS:B7RP-1, and VLA-4:VCAM-1. However, the clinical development of drugs for transplantation has proved to be difficult, complex, and time consuming. Therefore, newly emerging drug candidates will also demand better methods for monitoring their efficacy as well as their side effects in vivo. Pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) are complementary approaches used to select drugs on the basis of their in vivo efficacy as well as safety. Whereas PK monitors the handling of the drug by the body, PD focuses on the biologic effect of the drug on its target. Therefore, PD studies of in vivo efficacy are useful for clinical decisions to determine the optimal dose and type of immunosuppressant. At the preclinical stage, PD is aimed at accelerating the selection of lead compounds via PD-controlled trials in animals. Moreover, PD can help to discover new mechanisms of action for a drug or a drug candidate. However, its full potential has not been used, mainly because of laborious and time-consuming methodology. This review focuses on established and novel PD/PK approaches to assess immunosuppressive compounds in the context of new evolving drugs or drug combinations.

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Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2009 13:55
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2013 01:09


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