Reducing safety-related drug attrition: the use of in vitro pharmacological profiling

Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2012 Dec;11(12):909-22. doi: 10.1038/nrd3845.


In vitro pharmacological profiling is increasingly being used earlier in the drug discovery process to identify undesirable off-target activity profiles that could hinder or halt the development of candidate drugs or even lead to market withdrawal if discovered after a drug is approved. Here, for the first time, the rationale, strategies and methodologies for in vitro pharmacological profiling at four major pharmaceutical companies (AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Pfizer) are presented and illustrated with examples of their impact on the drug discovery process. We hope that this will enable other companies and academic institutions to benefit from this knowledge and consider joining us in our collaborative knowledge sharing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Discovery*
  • Drug Industry*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Risk Assessment