Cell biologists at the company have successfully over-expressed BCRP in a stable manner in the MDCK cell line, thereby creating BCRP-MDCK cells, the latest addition to its CellPort Technologies® product line. The unique, new BCRP assay system will enable drug developers to test new drug candidates for interactions with BCRP, which is involved in drug clearance, resistance of tumors to anticancer drugs, and drug-drug interactions (DDIs).
DDIs, which can lead to side effects, therapeutic failure, or death, remain an underappreciated healthcare problem. The risk is particularly high among the elderly, due to the fact that most elderly people take multiple medications. According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, as many as 2.2 million older Americans are at risk of a major DDI. For example, evidence suggests that BCRP is involved in the clearance from the body of methotrexate, a drug that is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and cancer. Thus, any patient taking methotrexate as well as another drug that interferes with the action of BCRP could be at risk for a DDI and a greater likelihood of severe side effects. The new BCRP-MDCK cells from Absorption Systems are the basis of a sensitive test system to screen new drug candidates for inhibition of BCRP.
Development of the new BCRP test system was spearheaded by Absorption Systems' Chief Scientist, Dr. Ismael Hidalgo, who leads the company's research and development in preclinical testing, including collaborations with academic, industrial, and FDA scientists. He said, "This milestone is the culmination of many months of work by our talented scientists. It is something that many other groups in our field have attempted unsuccessfully over the years, and I'm really pleased that we are at the point where we can use this new cell line to help our customers develop safer, more effective drugs. Our various CellPort test systems can provide very definitive data on drug transporters, as required by regulatory agencies such as the FDA."