Impact of microdosing clinical study -- why necessary and how useful?

Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2011 Jun 19;63(7):494-502. doi: 10.1016/j.addr.2010.09.010. Epub 2010 Oct 13.


The microdose (MD) clinical study enables to select a "better" compound for new drug candidate that shows desirable PK profiles in human. This new methodology is highly expected to streamline the drug development and to increase the success probability in the clinical trial. Since only a small amount of the test compound (less than 100 μg) is administered, the risk of harmful events to a human subject is regarded as minimal in the MD clinical study. However, the low dose also incurs the arguments about the usefulness of this method, since it may result in different PK profiles of drugs from that at the therapeutic dose. In addition, information on the efficacy/safety of the test compound cannot be obtained from the MD clinical study. On the other hand, PBPK model analysis based on the data of both the MD clinical study and in vitro study on metabolism, transport and binding enables the accurate prediction of PK profiles in humans at the therapeutic dose. PET molecular imaging technology further enhances the usability and applicability of the MD clinical study by offering the information on efficacy/safety. These methodologies, if coordinated effectively, are expected to innovate the new drug discovery and development.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic / methods*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Design*
  • Drugs, Investigational / administration & dosage*
  • Drugs, Investigational / adverse effects
  • Drugs, Investigational / pharmacokinetics
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods


  • Drugs, Investigational