Physiologically-based pharmacokinetics in drug development and regulatory science

Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2011;51:45-73. doi: 10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-010510-100540.


The application of physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling is coming of age in drug development and regulation, reflecting significant advances over the past 10 years in the predictability of key pharmacokinetic (PK) parameters from human in vitro data and in the availability of dedicated software platforms and associated databases. Specific advances and contemporary challenges with respect to predicting the processes of drug clearance, distribution, and absorption are reviewed, together with the ability to anticipate the quantitative extent of PK-based drug-drug interactions and the impact of age, genetics, disease, and formulation. The value of this capability in selecting and designing appropriate clinical studies, its implications for resource-sparing techniques, and a more holistic view of the application of PK across the preclinical/clinical divide are considered. Finally, some attention is given to the positioning of PBPK within the drug development and approval paradigm and its future application in truly personalized medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials as Topic / methods
  • Computer Simulation
  • Drug Approval
  • Drug Design*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drug and Narcotic Control
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / metabolism
  • Pharmacokinetics*
  • Precision Medicine / methods


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations