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UCSF, Optivia Get $430K Grant for ADME Tool Development

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of California, San Francisco, and Optivia Biotechnology today said that they have received a $430,000 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop a system for characterizing the role transporter proteins play in the disposition of drugs by the liver.

The research will build on Optivia's transporter technology platform and include the expertise of Leslie Benet, chairman emeritus of the UCSF Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences. The partners said in a joint statement that the goal is to develop a transporter-based assay system capable of predicting absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of drug candidates.

"This grant will allow us to build on UCSF's previous work suggesting that we can predict how drugs will behave in the body, specifically the liver, based on transporter biology," said Benet, who is a member of the International Transporter Consortium. "We intend to provide a body of systematic data based on the in vitro profiling of a large number of drugs against a panel of key human transporters as the first step toward building transporter-based predictive models for the assessment of ADME and drug-drug interactions."

In the study, Menlo Park, Calif.-based Optivia and UCSF intend to systematically test 40 marketed drugs against 10 major hepatic transporters, then correlate the in vitro drug-transporter interaction data with in vivo information on the disposition of drugs in the liver.

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