In vitro models for drug metabolism studies.

Drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion are biological processes that involve several organs (i.e. intestine, liver, kidneys), finally determining the drug levels in tissues and thus its correct function. If not adequate, these processes can cause the failure of drugs and impair their approval. For this reason, their correct evaluation of drug metabolism is a fundamental step in the drug discovery pipeline. New in vitro models, not as complex as the one proposed by the B2B project, come in handy to speed up the study of drug absorption and metabolism.

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A recent review by the group of Silvia Scaglione, the B2B project coordinator, provides an overview of recent advances in in vitro models that mimic the intestinal barrier for pharmaceutical screening: 2D traditional monolayers, complex multicellular 3D systems which display a good correlation with clinical data, and emerging fluid-dynamic platforms that closely recapitulate the intestinal physiological cues, but still need to be standardized.

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