This research group is experienced in examining in vitro (cell cultures) and in situ (intestinal perfusion in mice) prediction models for intestinal permeability parameters, as well as kinetic characterization of drugs, toxins, and nutrients. Given the extensive use and convenience of the oral route, characterizing the absorbability of new drugs is a critical aspect for optimizing the time and costs entailed in developing new medicines. Our research on in vitro models has contributed significantly to the policy of the three Rs in animal experimentation (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement), as the in vitro model makes screening greater numbers of molecules possible, reducing the number of animals in preclinical stages of development. Another objective of ours is to develop in vitro predictive dissolution methods of the in vivo yield of pharmaceutical formulations (biopredictive dissolution) that can be used as developmental tools in clinical stages and for selecting the optimum formulations to test, in addition to their use for obtaining biowaivers under validated in vitro-in vivo correlations.
Our research objectives focus on obtaining:
- Predictive models of intestinal absorption from physiochemical parameters.
- Predictive models of the influence of excipients in oral bioavailability.
- Validation of in vitro models for predicting the absorption of substrates of intestinal transporters.
- Development of in vitro penetration models across the blood-brain barrier.
These models are applicable to both drugs as well as functional components and toxic substances. Moreover, we have experience in modeling and simulating biological processes and our experimental approaches always use this tool as an essential part for establishing hypotheses and analyzing data.
This group belongs to the Biosim Network of Excellence (NoE) funded by the European Commission: Computer Simulation as a Tool in Drug Development (LSHB-CT-2004-005137), wherein we coordinate two subprojects. We are also coordinators in the MEMTRANS (Strep) Project funded by the European Commission (FP6 LSHB-CT-2006- 518246), focused on improving in vitro methodologies to predict absorption and pharmacokinetics in substrate substances of intestinal carriers. Furthermore, we coordinate a nationally-financed project in collaboration with the Spanish IATA (AGL2005-06191-C02-01/ALI), MODELOS IN VITRO E IN SILICO PARA LA PREDICCION DE LA BIODISPONIBILIDAD DE COMPONENTES FUNCIONALES (IN VITRO AND IN SILICO MODELS FOR PREDICTING BIOAVAILABILITY OF FUNCTIONAL COMPONENTS), and we are also members of a Consolider Project focused on functional food.
The fields of application of our research results could include:
1. Prediction of bioavailability, optimization of drug design studies, pharmacokinetic profiles of new candidates.
2. Preparation of new pharmaceutical forms of drugs with solubility and/or absorbability problems, with improved bioavailability with respect to conventional forms.
3. Development of new drugs.
4. Development of new pharmaceutical technologies.
5. Biopharmaceutical classification of drugs, biowaivers.