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Analysis of secondary pharmacology assays received by the US Food and Drug Administration

Christina Scott

Christina Scott, Andrew Dodson, Muriel Saulnier, Kevin Snyder, Rebecca Racz

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Secondary pharmacology studies are a time-efficient and cost-effective method for determining the safety profile of a potential new drug before it enters human trials. The results of these multi-target screens are commonly submitted with Investigational New Drug (IND) applications, but there currently is little guidance on how such information is presented and which targets are chosen for testing. In this study, we expand on our previous analysis of secondary pharmacology reports by manually curating and analyzing all secondary pharmacology results received by the FDA received as part of an IND submission. A total of 1120 INDs submitted by 480 sponsors between 1999 and October 2020 were included in this study. The overall results were largely consistent with previous internal and external studies, showing that the most tested target in our set was the histamine 1 receptor (tested 938 times), the most hit target was sodium channel site 2 (hit 141 times), and the target with the highest hit percentage was the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (hit 42.2% of the time). Additionally, this study demonstrated that improvements in the secondary pharmacology submission process, such as changes in formatting and nomenclature, could enhance the utility of these assays for regulatory review, including assisting with identifying the safety liabilities of a drug candidate early in development. This updated data set will allow FDA-industry collaborative working groups to continue developing the best methods for regulatory submission of secondary pharmacology data and evaluate the need for a standard target panel.

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