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Why Is My Assay Failing? An Approach to Assay Equipment Optimization
Tanya R. Knaide, John Thomas Bradshaw, Kevin Khovananth, Keith Albert

Assays can produce unexpected or failing results for a multitude of reasons. Variability may be introduced at any point within the assay process.

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Validation of an Automated Cell-Based Bioluminescent TNFa Blocker Bioassay
Brad Larson, Tracy Worzella, Rich Moravec, Neal Cosby, Frank Fan, Teresa Surowy and Peter Banks

TNFa blocker biopharmaceuticals represent an important and successful class of protein drugs used in the treatment of several autoimmune diseases. Bioassays are indispensible tools in biopharmaceutical drug development and commercialization that are used to quantify biological activity and stability of drugs or drug candidates. The automation of these assays can serve to create an accurate, robust process which can allow the researcher to perform other more important functions.

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Modeling Disposition of Sotalol following Intravenous and Oral Administration in Healthy Adult Subjects
S. Ray Chaudhuri, V. Lukacova and W. S. Woltosz

Sotalol is a non specific adrenergic beta-antagonist that is used in the treatment of life-threatening arrhythmia. Its absorption, distribution and systemic PK or, collectively, ‘disposition’ was modeled and simulated using GastroPlus™ v7.0. Biopharmaceutical properties were obtained from in silico predictions and in vitro measurements.

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Predicting hERG Potassium Channel Affinity with Artificial Neural Network Ensembles
Adam C. Lee, GrazynaFraczkiewicz, Robert Fraczkiewicz, Robert D. Clark and Walter S. Woltosz

Modeling hERG inhibition has gained significant popularity since 2005, when the FDA recognized the correlation between hERG inhibition and a prolonged QT interval by issuing guidance for the evaluation of new non-antiarrythmic drugs against the hERG channel.Long QT syndrome or LQTS is a risk factor for ventricular tachyarrhythmias and sudden death.

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Predicting Sites of Metabolism with Artificial Neural Network Ensembles
Marvin Waldman, Robert Fraczkiewicz, JinhuaZhang, Robert D. Clark and Walter S. Woltosz

Hepatic first-pass metabolism of many drugs and pro drugs plays a key role in their oral bioavailability. The human cytochrome P450 enzymes are responsible for the metabolism of most drugs. Knowledge of likely sites of metabolic attack in a drug molecule can aid in designing out unwanted metabolic liabilities early on in the drug discovery process, as well as in the design of pro drugs where metabolic transformation is desired.

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Be Careful What You Ask for: Challenges of Predicting Human Clearance for a Low Metabolic Turnover Compound, ELND006
Kevin Quinn, David Nakamura, Heather Zhang, Shawn Gauby, Colin Lorentzen, Erich Goldbach, Amanda Moore, Salman Khetani, Earvin Liang, John-Michael Sauer and George Tonn,

A study of in vitro clearance of ELND006, a low turn-over compound.

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Global Gene Expression Changes Induced In Primary Human Hepatocytes By Thiazolidinediones Upon Repeat Dosing of HepatoPac™ Cultures
Michael McVay and Salman R. Khetani

An assessment of global gene expression changes in HepatoPac, a micropatterned co-culture of hepatocytes and stromal cells.

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A Long Term Culture Model for Primary Hepatocytes from Cynomolgus Monkeys
Simon Aoyama, Sara Lambirth, Chitra Kanchagar and Salman R. Khetani

The Macaca fascicularis or cynomolgus monkey is a non-human primate often used in pre-clinical animal studies. In this study, we applied microtechnology and tissue engineering techniques to cynomologus monkey hepatocytes in order to determine if these cells could be stabilized in micropatterned co-cultures similar to their human and rat counterparts.

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Live Cell Beating Assay Using Human iPSC-derived Cardiomyocytes for Evaluation of Drug Efficacy and Toxicity
Oksana Sirenko, Carole Crittenden, Blake Anson, Jayne Hesley, Yen-Wen Chen, Nick Callamaras and Evan F. Cromwell

A large percentage of new drugs fail in clinical studies due to cardiac toxicity. Development of highly predictive in vitro assays suitable for screening, safety assessment or other environments is therefore extremely important for drug development. Human cardiomyocytes derived from stem cell sources can greatly accelerate the discovery of cardiac drugs and improve drug safety by offering more clinically relevant cell-based models than those presently available.

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Scientific News
One Giant Leap for the Future of Safe Drug Delivery
Sheffield engineers make major breakthrough in developing silk ‘micro-rockets’ that can be used safely in biological environments.
How Cancer Spreads in the Body
Cancer cells appear to depend on an unusual survival mechanism to spread around the body, according to an early study led by Queen Mary University of London.
Rates of Nonmedical Prescription Opioid Use Disorder Double in 10 Years
Researchers at NIH have found that the nonmedical use of prescription opioids has more than doubled among adults in the United States from 2001-2002 to 2012-2013.
Self-Assembling Protein Shell for Drug Delivery
Made-to-order nano-cages open possibilities of shipping cargo into living cells or fashioning small chemical reactors.
Guided Chemotherapy Missiles
Latching chemotherapy drugs onto proteins that seek out tumors could provide a new way of treating tumors in the brain or with limited blood supply that are hard to reach with traditional chemotherapy.
What Makes a Good Scientist?
It’s the journey, not just the destination that counts as a scientist when conducting research.
‘Human-on-a-Chip’ Could Replace Animal Testing
Researchers are developing a “human-on-a-chip,” a miniature external replication of the human body, integrating biology and engineering with a combination of microfluidics and multi-electrode arrays.
A New Approach to Chemical Synthesis
Communesins, originally found in fungus, could hold potential as cancer drugs.
‘Missing Tooth’ Hydrogels Handle Hard-to-Deliver Drugs
Rice University’s custom hydrogel traps water-avoiding molecules for slow delivery.
Copper is Key in Burning Fat
Berkeley Lab scientist says results could provide new target for obesity research.
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