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Noninvasive structural, functional, and molecular imaging in drug development


Rudin, M (2009). Noninvasive structural, functional, and molecular imaging in drug development. Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, 13(3):360-371.

Abstract

Modern drug research is mechanism-based and the development of disease modifying therapies involves the identification of molecular key players in the pathological cascade. Today, noninvasive imaging tools enable the visualization and quantitative assessment of the expression of molecular targets, of their interaction with potential ligands, as well as of the functional consequence of this interaction at a molecular (e.g. activation of signaling cascades), cellular, metabolic, physiological, and morphological level in a temporo-spatially resolved manner. The ability to gather such information from the intact organism with all regulatory processes in place renders imaging highly attractive for the biomedical researcher and for the drug developer in particular. Molecular imaging is potentially capable of providing this information. Today, proof-of-principle has been established that imaging is in fact adding value to the drug discovery and development processes. Numerous studies have used structural and functional imaging readouts to document therapy efficacy, mainly during lead optimization. Similarly, major efforts have been devoted to the development and evaluation of imaging biomarkers that might serve as early readouts for therapy response with the potential of being used in the clinical drug evaluation thereby facilitating translational research. In this contribution, we illustrate the role and potential of imaging in modern drug discovery and development with selected examples. Yet, despite its huge potential the impact of imaging on drug discovery has been modest in the past; potential reasons will be discussed. Nevertheless, noninvasive imaging methods are rapidly evolving and it is beyond doubt that their importance for biomedical research will increase.

Modern drug research is mechanism-based and the development of disease modifying therapies involves the identification of molecular key players in the pathological cascade. Today, noninvasive imaging tools enable the visualization and quantitative assessment of the expression of molecular targets, of their interaction with potential ligands, as well as of the functional consequence of this interaction at a molecular (e.g. activation of signaling cascades), cellular, metabolic, physiological, and morphological level in a temporo-spatially resolved manner. The ability to gather such information from the intact organism with all regulatory processes in place renders imaging highly attractive for the biomedical researcher and for the drug developer in particular. Molecular imaging is potentially capable of providing this information. Today, proof-of-principle has been established that imaging is in fact adding value to the drug discovery and development processes. Numerous studies have used structural and functional imaging readouts to document therapy efficacy, mainly during lead optimization. Similarly, major efforts have been devoted to the development and evaluation of imaging biomarkers that might serve as early readouts for therapy response with the potential of being used in the clinical drug evaluation thereby facilitating translational research. In this contribution, we illustrate the role and potential of imaging in modern drug discovery and development with selected examples. Yet, despite its huge potential the impact of imaging on drug discovery has been modest in the past; potential reasons will be discussed. Nevertheless, noninvasive imaging methods are rapidly evolving and it is beyond doubt that their importance for biomedical research will increase.

Citations

23 citations in Web of Science®
32 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:07 Dec 2009 09:49
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:37
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1367-5931
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.cbpa.2009.03.025
PubMed ID:19447067

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