Newcells Biotech has announced that Dr Colin Brown, one of the world’s leading experts on drug transport and drug toxicity in kidney will join the company as Director of ADMET Technology. The company has also purchased the technology and commercial rights to the aProximate platform developed by Dr Brown and his research group at Newcastle University.
The aProximate platform, is used to identify unexpected kidney toxicity and investigate drug transport in preclinical and clinical drug development. Kidney toxicity is a major concern for the pharmaceutical industry, halting 19% of Phase II clinical trials. It is also estimated that 1% of all patients admitted to hospital above the age of 60, develop acute kidney failure due to drug-induced toxicity, arising from multiple drug exposure.
“Predicting the impact of novel drugs on the kidney is particularly challenging,” explains Dr Brown. “A signiﬁcant percentage of compounds undergoing development as new therapeutic agents fail because of unexpected kidney toxicity. With more and more drugs being removed from the body by the kidney, pharmaceutical and biotechnology researchers require predictable and highly effective kidney models to identify what is going to happen to their drug.”
The aProximate platform consists of a series of highly differentiated primary proximal tubule cell monolayers that have proven to be highly effective in understanding drug transport and the impact of drug-drug interactions on renal drug clearance. As well as human models, Newcells Biotech can provide dog, rat and non-human primate models. More recently the platform has been expanded to enable these models to be used as a highly predictive screen for kidney toxicity using clinically relevant biomarkers.
“We are delighted to have another eminent scientist from Newcastle University joining our team,” comments Dr Mike Nicholds, CEO of Newcells Biotech. The company is already pioneering the production and differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC), based on the technology of Professor Lyle Armstrong and Professor Majlinda Lako. Having the aProximate platform in our portfolio of products, and Doctor Brown as part of our team, puts us at the forefront of pre-clinical disease modelling, pharmacokinetics and drug safety evaluation.”