A new study has claimed that the thousands of animal tests used by drug developers every year to assess drug uptake in humans are useless and that computer models are now much more reliable.
Researchers from PharmaInformatic in Germany have created a database called PACT-F that contains detailed results from drug trials in humans and animals. The database is now the largest knowledge base on drug uptake worldwide and contains 8296 records. It can be used to develop computer models that can predict the drug uptake (also known as oral bioavailability) of new drugs. A validation study of a new computer system called IMPACT-F (that was derived from this database) found that it was a good predictor of the human bioavailability of new drugs (correlation coefficient of r=0.78).
Using this database, the researchers were also able to compare experimental results from animal studies with results from human clinical trials for more than 100 approved and marketed drugs. The study found that the correlation of drug uptake between animals and humans was actually very low (correlation coefficient 0.37- 0.56). The IMPACT-F computer model is therefore much more reliable at predicting drug uptake in humans than animal tests and could improve the prospects of successful clinical trials. Computer models such as IMPACT-F are a promising replacement for animal tests as they require no experimental effort, are much cheaper and can produce more accurate results almost immediately.
Dr. Wolfgang Boomgaarden, founder and CEO of PharmaInformatic said, “Now we have proof that computer models are significantly more efficient and reliable than animal trials and hopefully they will replace useless animal trials soon”.
1. Expert System to Predict Oral Bioavailability in Humans. (2013). PharmaInformatic: http://www.pharmainformatic.com/IMPACT-F_description.pdf
2. Novel Research Findings on Bioavailability of Drugs. (2013). PharmaInformatic: http://www.pharmainformatic.com/html/prediction_of_f_.html