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Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1568-0266
ISSN (Online): 1873-4294

Strategies for Absorption Screening in Drug Discovery and Development

Author(s): Hilde Bohets, Pieter Annaert, Geert Mannens, Ludy van Beijsterveldt, Katelijne Anciaux, Peter Verboven, Willem Meuldermans and Karel Lavrijsen

Volume 1, Issue 5, 2001

Page: [367 - 383] Pages: 17

DOI: 10.2174/1568026013394886

Price: $65


This review gives an overview of the current approaches to evaluate drug absorption potential in the different phases of drug discovery and development. Methods discussed include in silico models, artificial membranes as absorption models, in vitro models such as the Ussing chamber and Caco-2 monolayers, in situ rat intestinal perfusion and in vivo absorption studies. In silico models such as iDEA™ can help optimizing chemical synthesis since the fraction absorbed (Fa) can be predicted based on structural characteristics only. A more accurate prediction of Fa can be obtained by feeding the iDEA™ model with Caco-2 permeability data and solubility data at various pHs. Permeability experiments with artificial membranes such as the filter-IAM technology are high-throughput and offer the possibility to group compounds according to a low and a high permeability. Highly permeable compounds, however, need to be further evaluated in Caco-2 cells, since artificial membranes lack active transport systems and efflux mechanisms such as Pglycoprotein (PgP). Caco-2 and other “intestinal-like” cell lines (MDCK, TC-7, HT29-MTX, 2/4/A1) permit to perform mechanistic studies and identify drug-drug interactions at the level of PgP. The everted sac and Ussing chamber techniques are more advanced models in the sense that they can provide additional information with respect to intestinal metabolism. In situ rat intestinal perfusion is a reliable technique to investigate drug absorption potential in combination with intestinal metabolism, however, it is time consuming, and therefore not suited for screening purposes. Finally, in vivo absorption in animals can be estimated from bioavailability studies (ratio of the plasma AUC after oral and i.v. administration). The role of the liver in affecting bioavailability can be evaluated by portal vein sampling experiments in dogs.

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