Drug discovery evolves: Jump-starting the transition from animal models to human preclinical models

Image courtesy of AM Biotech

Animal models, long the basis of academic research and preclinical drug discovery, continue to play an important role in advancing our understanding of basic pharmacology and bringing critical therapies to those in need. However, animal models have some natural drawbacks (e.g., not being humans) that hamper their ability to fully predict the interaction of new chemical entities with human physiology. Nonetheless, animal models remain the lynchpin of preclinical research the world over. Given the long-standing paucity of suitable human-based models to replace them, this should come as no surprise. Indeed, while both primary and immortalized human cells have long been available for in vitro research using standard tissue culture techniques, the primarily 2D nature of such in vitro studies is not sufficient to replicate human tissue’s complex structure and function.

These fundamenta…

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