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Partnership to offer ABC transporter assays


Montreal, QC – April 15, 2004 – Drug development company MDS Pharma Services says it is working with Hungarian-based Solvo Biotechnology to provide in vitro multidrug resistance (MDR) transporter assays for screening and lead optimization, as well as preclinical absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) studies.

“Transporters are an important, evolving area in the drug metabolism arena and few contract research organizations offer this capability,” says Mark Reimer, PhD, senior director, metabolism resource at MDS Pharma Services. “Solvo’s ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporter protein assays complement our existing in vitro metabolism services and are relevant to nearly all therapeutic areas.”

The transport activities of these proteins have an important effect in general pharmacology in modulating the absorption, distribution and excretion of numerous drug compounds. The activity of the proteins in membranes comprising the blood-brain barrier and intestinal, kidney and liver epithelia, function as pharmacological barriers, inhibiting the ability of certain drug compounds to reach key organs in the body.

“An extremely important question in current pharmacological research is whether particular drugs can cross these barriers,” says Arnold Feher, MD, MSc, director of business development at Solvo Biotechnology. “Since ABC-MDR transporters play a key role in these transport processes, the interaction between pharmaceuticals and ABC-MDR transporters is an essential piece of information for drug targeting. Testing the interaction between compounds and various ABC transporters may significantly help the understanding of these phenomena.”

According to Dr Reimer, this is particularly helpful with cancer therapeutics, as many tumour cells over-express these transporter proteins. Treatment failure due to MDR is also found in connection with other conditions, including such therapeutic areas as central nervous system (CNS) disorders, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, as well as HIV and several other infectious diseases.