Agilent Technologies Inc. has announced that Dr. Paul B. Watkins, international drug safety expert and director of the Hamner-University of North Carolina Institute for Drug Safety Sciences, has received an Agilent Thought Leader Award in recognition of his ongoing work developing integrated methods to predict drug-induced liver injury (DILI).
This award continues Agilent's support of the research Hamner scientists are conducting on drug induced liver injury (Hamner, 2011).
Dr. Watkins' studies involve mouse genetic models, patients who have experienced or are experiencing DILI, and patient-specific liver culture models derived from stem cells.
"There is an industry-wide need for new predictive tools that will assess the safety of drug compounds much earlier in the drug-development process," said Dr. Watkins, who also chairs the U.S. Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network, funded by the National Institutes of Health. "By integrating a variety of preclinical biological research applications using genetic and genomic data, we hope to better anticipate and prevent patients' possible adverse reactions to bio-pharmaceutical treatment."
Using Agilent's nuclear magnetic resonance technology, SurePrint G3 microarray platform, and other integrated biology technologies, Watkins and his team hope to further elucidate the causes of drug-induced liver injury.
"Patients' susceptibility to adverse reactions appears to involve genetic makeup but is also associated with non-genetic factors, such as age, nutrition and drug interactions," said Dr. Watkins. "We are excited about the progress we are making in understanding this problem, and I am honored to receive the Agilent Thought Leader Award in support of our efforts."
"Drug-induced liver injury is a primary reason why some promising new drug candidates fail during clinical development and why other drugs are pulled off the market," said Dr. John Fjeldsted, Agilent's senior director for LC/MS research and development and executive sponsor of this award.
"We are delighted with the excellent research that Hamner scientists have produced and are very pleased to now recognize Dr. Watkins as an Agilent Thought Leader," he added. "We believe the results of pan-omic studies of drug induced liver damage will make a significant contribution to the understanding of metabolomic, proteomic and genetic associations and lead to more certain toxicity testing in multiple markets."