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Drug Discovery Costs Time and Money

As shown in the illustration below, drug discovery is a costly process in terms of both time and money. A recent Tufts study estimates that for a single successful drug this may require an investment of as much as $2.6 billion and 10-15 years. A critical step in terms of saving cost and time is to identify and eliminate overly toxic drug candidates as quickly as possible while simultaneously producing efficacious and safe compounds that can translate toward successful human trials and marketing. So how can a company maintain an effective and competitive decision making process which also saves cost and time? That’s where Durametrix comes in…

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The Durametrix Approach:

In an effort to speed drug discovery while saving time and money we have developed a whole-body imaging-based approach which detects molecular signatures of tissue injury in response to various drugs/treatments. Pathologically elevated cell death is an important manifestation of terminal cellular response in toxicity-induced tissue injuries. Compared to signaling and metabolic markers, increased cell death represents a clear-cut indicator for toxic side effects and remains a marker for toxicity related tissue damage. Guided by this rationale we created an innovative approach for whole-body imaging of toxicity associated cell death which offers researchers several advantages to help streamline lead optimization and decision making as shown below:

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Exceed The Limits Of The Current "Gold Standard"

Currently histopathology represents an established gold standard comprising the core of toxicity studies by identifying structural and morphological changes in susceptible tissues and cells. As a tool in drug discovery, histopathology comes with many notable limitations. Histopathology requires euthanasia of test subjects in order to collect tissue specimens. As such the nature of these kinds of studies precludes dynamic information and longitudinal functional correlations in the same individual, where susceptibility to toxicity can be widely variable both in time and space on a personalized basis. Studies are frequently prone to sampling errors, particularly when tissue response is heterogeneous even within the same organ. Most importantly, histopathology-based toxicity studies are time-consuming, labor-intensive, and costly. Conventionally, a typical toxicity study in two species takes 4-6 months to complete at a cost of US$0.5-1M. Given that histopahology remains the gold standard in toxicity-based studies for a reason, how can a company overcome these clear limitations while still maintaining an effective and competitive decision making processes and concurrently saving cost and time? That’s where our technology comes into play!

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The Bottom Line...

Since the response to drug toxicity is highly variable from tissue to tissue and from individual to individual, it can be very difficult to characterize at times. Our technology detects this toxicity-related tissue damage in individual tissues on a dynamic and personalized basis allowing for a comprehensive examination of toxicity-related tissue injury. We provide quantitative spatiotemporal information in a minimally invasive and whole-body fashion to help in the examination of on-target and off-target effects. The data we provide can also be retrospectively examined at any time and probed for a more complete picture to help guide lead optimization. We aim to help you identify the best potential candidates while reducing uncertainties and biases in the decision-making process in order to maximize efficacy and reduce the risk of serious adverse effects down the road during development. Best of all, our approach complements conventional methods at a relatively low cost and can be coupled with conventional methods such as serum paneling and histopathology as needed.

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