Convergence of Cell Pharmacology and Drug Delivery

Stem Cells Transl Med. 2019 Sep;8(9):874-879. doi: 10.1002/sctm.19-0019. Epub 2019 May 15.


Cellular therapy is enabling new approaches to tackle significant unmet needs in areas such as regenerative medicine and immunotherapy. The pharmacology of cell therapeutics becomes of critical importance to assure that these new drugs work reproducibly and effectively. Cell pharmacology can benefit from adapting principles of classical molecular drug pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) to quantitatively understand rate-limiting constraints of cell fate after administration. Future innovations focused on improvements in drug delivery using a PK/PD perspective can aid in designing a cell therapeutic product to overcome any pharmacological barriers for a given disease application. Herein, we present a perspective on the development of an ex vivo mesenchymal stromal therapeutic using a PK/PD framework and also present examples of general cell engineering techniques that implicitly influence the PK/PD curve by genetically modifying cells to regulate their in vivo duration, biodistribution, and activity. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2019;8:874&879.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Metabolic Engineering
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism
  • Regenerative Medicine*


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell