NEW YORK, March 21 - Gene Logic said that its toxicology platform is now robust enough to predict the toxic properties of drug-compound candidates.
Drug researchers use the system, ToxExpress, to analyze and understand compound toxicity. Now, the company claims, new liver gene-expression data give the system the ability to forecast early on in the drug-development process those compounds that may cause liver toxicity and those that may not.
"Given the depth of the database, the time points, and the number of drugs, we've been able to identify genes for toxicity," said Donna Mendrick, Gene Logic's vice president and scientific director for toxicology.
Mendrick said that Gene Logic used about 1,400 liver-tissue samples to identify a set of genes that could be used as toxicity markers. These markers were then cross-validated with external data provided by the company's pharmaceutical partners, and checked to make sure that they were equally functional on a variety of microarray platforms.
"It takes us to another level," Mendrick said. "People can start using it early on in screening and prioritization--the problem faced by pharma is that there are too many leads, and no good high-throughput toxicity screening. This is a good away to prioritize."
Customers can also use the platform to forecast the particular type of pathology that a new compound may cause, and compare the potential toxicity of a candidate drug with known compounds.
Gene Logic plans to expand the platform to include toxicology data from other organs, including kidney, heart, and bone marrow.