Drug metabolism profoundly affects drug action, because almost all drugs are metabolised in the body and thus their concentrations and elimination rates are dependent on metabolic activity. Drug metabolism contributes substantially to interindividual differences in drug response and is also often involved in drug interactions, resulting in either therapeutic failure or adverse effects. Knowledge about the metabolism of a new chemical entity and its affinity to drug-metabolising enzymes helps in the drug development process by providing important information for the selection of a lead compound from among a number of substances pharmacologically equally effective in their therapeutic response. In drug development protocols, metabolism characteristics should be assessed very early during the development process. This has been made possible by the advances made especially in analytical capabilities and in in vitro technologies that are employed to predict in vivo metabolite profile, pharmacokinetic parameters and drug-drug interaction potential.