Key Challenges and Opportunities Associated with the Use of In Vitro Models to Detect Human DILI: Integrated Risk Assessment and Mitigation Plans

Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:9737920. doi: 10.1155/2016/9737920. Epub 2016 Sep 5.


Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is a major cause of late-stage clinical drug attrition, market withdrawal, black-box warnings, and acute liver failure. Consequently, it has been an area of focus for toxicologists and clinicians for several decades. In spite of considerable efforts, limited improvements in DILI prediction have been made and efforts to improve existing preclinical models or develop new test systems remain a high priority. While prediction of intrinsic DILI has improved, identifying compounds with a risk for idiosyncratic DILI (iDILI) remains extremely challenging because of the lack of a clear mechanistic understanding and the multifactorial pathogenesis of idiosyncratic drug reactions. Well-defined clinical diagnostic criteria and risk factors are also missing. This paper summarizes key data interpretation challenges, practical considerations, model limitations, and the need for an integrated risk assessment. As demonstrated through selected initiatives to address other types of toxicities, opportunities exist however for improvement, especially through better concerted efforts at harmonization of current, emerging and novel in vitro systems or through the establishment of strategies for implementation of preclinical DILI models across the pharmaceutical industry. Perspectives on the incorporation of newer technologies and the value of precompetitive consortia to identify useful practices are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Review