Cell-Based Drug Discovery

Cell-based assays serve as a key component in streamlining the drug development process. The use of cell-based assays in drug discovery is intended to accelerate the identification of potential therapeutic compounds that can continue towards regulatory approval and become drugs available on the market. Key attributes revealed by these methods include cytotoxicity, biological activity, and off-target interactions. These assays are extremely amenable to miniaturization and multiplexing, which allows assays to be conducted in a high-throughput manner and for increasing amounts of compounds to be tested under different conditions simultaneously.

Early SB initiatives in the cell-based drug discovery sector involve a call-to-action for the development of consistent reference guidelines to assess the phenotypic characteristics of stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes for use in drug discovery. Future studies, in collaboration with NIST, aim to incorporate previously generated and de novo data to understand the characteristics of the various available cell lines and subsequently call for the definition of benchmarks (in HiPSC cardiomyocytes) for use in drug discovery applications. Other needs that have been identified for project development include the definition of gene expression, maturity markers, and phenotype of cells used in drug discovery. Current and prospective studies are designed in concordance with the priorities of SCB charter members, which represent industry, academic, and regulatory interests.


Cell-Based Drug Discovery Chair


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Dr. Gary Gintant is a Senior Research Fellow in the Dept. of Integrative Pharmacology, Integrated Science and Technology, at AbbVie. He is involved in multiple drug discovery and safety activities and initiatives internally. His external activities include various cardiac safety initiatives (such as ILSI/HESI Proarrhythmia Models Project, the Cardiac Safety Research Consortium, and the Comprehensive in Vitro Proarrhythmia Assay Initiative), as well as serving on various journal editorial boards, NIH study sections, and Safety Pharmacology Society committees. His research interests (reflected in numerous peer-reviewed publications and book chapters) include cardiovascular pharmacology, cellular electrophysiology/ion channels, arrhythmias, application of stem-cell derived cells and tissues to drug discovery efforts, and translational medicine. He gained his MA., M.Phil. and PhD. degrees from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, NY.