Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Toxicology-on-a-chip Tool Readies For Market

Date:
December 12, 2005
Source:
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Summary:
Recalls of popular prescription drugs are raising public concern about the general safety of new pharmaceuticals. A collaborative group of researchers says that identifying which drug candidates are toxic early in the discovery process can help prevent harmful pharmaceuticals from being placed on the market in the first place, and they have developed a tool to do it.

This slide includes approximately 2,000 combinations of eight enzymes used in human liver metabolism. To detect toxic drug compound reactions, the slide is “stamped” with a second slide of human organ cells.
Credit: Photo by RPI/Moo-Yeal Lee and Jonathan Dordick

Recalls of popular prescription drugs are raising public concern about the general safety of new pharmaceuticals. A collaborative group of researchers says that identifying which drug candidates are toxic early in the discovery process can help prevent harmful pharmaceuticals from being placed on the market in the first place, and they have developed a tool to do it.

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of California-Berkeley, and Solidus Biosciences Inc. have developed a biochip, called the MetaChip, which can analyze drug candidates for toxicity and eliminate harmful ones before they advance to pre-clinical stages. Now beginning the second phase of funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported project, researchers are working to optimize the technology for the end user: pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. The researchers are working to bring the MetaChip to market within a year.

“Compounds can be screened early, quickly, and effectively by the MetaChip to prevent toxic drugs from getting through the discovery process, being put on the market, and then getting recalled, such as we’ve seen with several high-profile cases recently,” says Jonathan Dordick, the Howard P. Isermann ’42 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer.

“Weeding out toxic compounds earlier would also allow pharmaceutical companies to evaluate more compounds and more efficiently identify those that are most likely to become successful drugs,” adds Douglas Clark of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of California-Berkeley.

Dordick and Clark are also the co-founders of Solidus Biosciences, a biotech company located at the Rensselaer Incubator for start-up businesses.

The MetaChip (metabolizing enzyme toxicology assay chip) mimics the effects of metabolism in the human liver where enzymes break down, neutralize, and excrete chemicals from food and pharmaceuticals. In many cases, the metabolized chemicals, called metabolites, are harmless or even beneficial. But some metabolites are toxic, and this toxicity can be difficult to predict or find at early stages of drug discovery with current testing methods.

“The relatively slow pace of technology development in toxicology and clinical safety evaluation that could be used in early phases of drug development continues to hinder the progression of lead compounds to pharmaceuticals,” Dordick says. “In addition to safety concerns, drug discovery is an extremely costly process with more than $1 billion invested in each approved drug. For the first time, the MetaChip can enable the initial and high-throughput analysis of metabolism-induced toxicology to be performed before significant resources are invested in the drug’s development.”

Solidus Biosciences recently received a $1.7 million, three-year award from NIH through its Small Business Technology Transfer Program to optimize the MetaChip for market. Rensselaer will receive approximately $500,000 as a sub-contractor of the award. The technology has been patented by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and University of California-Berkeley and licensed exclusively to Solidus Biosciences.

The MetaChip uses a culturing method by combining enzyme catalysis with cell-based screening on a single microscale chip. The drug candidates are added to a chip containing approximately 2,000 combinations of eight enzymes used in human liver metabolism and then sandwiched with a slide of human organ cells in order to detect toxic reactions to the compound. When toxic reactions are detected, the toxic drug compounds are eliminated as potential candidates for further development as new pharmaceuticals. The researchers are also working to develop an automated MetaReader device to quickly analyze the results.

Dordick, Clark, and collaborators published findings on the MetaChip in the Jan. 25, 2005 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in a paper titled “Metabolizing Enzyme Toxicology Assay Chip (MetaChip) for High-Throughput Microscale Toxicity Analyses.” The peer-reviewed publication defines the technology and results of testing in more detail.;

Development of the MetaChip technology is part of several NIH-funded research projects at Rensselaer seeking more efficient ways to synthesize and identify compounds that merit further development as possible new drugs.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. "Toxicology-on-a-chip Tool Readies For Market." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051212120621.htm>.
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. (2005, December 12). Toxicology-on-a-chip Tool Readies For Market. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051212120621.htm
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. "Toxicology-on-a-chip Tool Readies For Market." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051212120621.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins