Today’s pharmaceutical industry faces tremendous financial and competitive pressures to discover and select promising drug candidates more quickly and cost-effectively. The average cost of developing a single drug amounts to over $1.2 billion and takes 15 years of research and development. Much of the extensive testing and clinical trials required to bring a drug to market focus on how the drug is metabolized in the liver. Metabolism profiling, which is conducted relatively late in the drug discovery process, is a widely-used means of identifying toxicity and potential side effects, and selecting the best drug candidates for further study.
Today, the water-based or “aqueous” solutions used during drug testing (animal/biological systems) do not detect highly soluble and highly reactive drug metabolites. For a number of other reasons, animal studies are sub-optimal for metabolism profiling: they entail animal sacrifice and slow-reacting hepatocytes, microsomes and liver-derived specimens which are known to be unstable, exhibit short duration of cell activity and sometimes vary in potency. The resulting metabolites are difficult to predict, confirm and quantify – providing an incomplete metabolism profile which can derail drug development or present serious side effects when the drug reaches the market.
Although animal sacrifice cannot be completely eliminated from drug testing, it can be reduced significantly during drug research with the addition of more advanced chemical-based systems, such as chemosynthetic livers. The industry is making significant investments to improve testing methods for drug R&D in order to bring better and safer drugs to market more quickly, reduce pipeline failures and avoid drug withdrawals.
Founded in 2010, Empiriko’s business model was inspired by decades of experience working in the healthcare and life sciences industry. We have observed firsthand the challenges faced by scientists, clinicians and decision-makers responsible for taking drugs from concept to commercialization. Our Biomimiks™ technology has been designed to meet industry challenges directly – enabling researchers and clinicians to work more iteratively and rapidly, gain the comprehensive information they need to develop better and safer compounds, optimize clinical trial design and treat patients more effectively.