Understanding the mechanisms that underpin the biotransformation of new pharmaceuticals is vital for the drug development process. At present, this is both a complex and lengthy process, resulting in extremely high costs. Improved drug discovery and toxicology studies prior to reaching clinical trials could significantly impact upon attrition rates and dramatically reduce costs. Potential new drugs are required to undergo comprehensive toxicology testing, yet the large majority of drugs fail due to unexpected cardio‐ and hepato‐toxicity. This is undoubtedly due to the current screening systems in operation which possess major limitations and do not extrapolate well to human physiology. As a result, the industry has explored other alternatives. Of note, pluripotent stem cells have attracted significant attention as they exhibit advantages over the current ‘state‐of‐the‐art’ models. The ability to efficiently generate functional somatic cells for drug testing from defined genetics in a cost‐effective manner would have significant impact in meeting the needs of predictive toxicology. Here we review the application of stem cell‐derived human cardiomyocytes and hepatocytes in the drug discovery process, focusing on current progress and limitations to this technology.
|Title of host publication||Stem Cells in Regenerative Medicine: Science, regulation and business strategies|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Oct 2015|