Pharmacokinetics and bioanalytics core facility
We work with the remit to provide bioanalytical, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic support for the Institute.
Pharmacokinetics (PK) is the study of what the body does to drugs. It is the mathematical study and description of the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion processes used by the body when a drug is administered. In order to obtain good PK data, bioanalysis forms an integral part of the science as we need to quantify how much of the drug is in the body over a period of time. To facilitate this we have two liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry systems (LC-MS/MS) within the facility. These state-of-the-art systems enable us to detect very low levels of drugs in a variety of biological matrices such as blood, plasma, tumour and cell cultures. We have developed a range of bioanalytical assays to support various research groups ranging from small dicarboxylic acids to steroids.
We have also developed a fast, robust and sensitive assay for the simultaneous detection and quantification of deoxycytidine, hydroxymethyl-deoxycytidine, methyl-deoxycytidine, deoxyadenosine and deoxyguanosine in DNA digests. In addition several bioanalytical assays have been validated to support clinical trial studies with further potential clinical trial support planned.
In terms of instrumentation, the Facility has purchased the latest instrument in mass spectrometry triple quadrapole technology: an ABSciex 6500 which replaced the aging AB4000 in January 2013. This new instrument offers an increase in sensitivity thus providing better assays for the quantification of low abundance molecules such as hmdC (hydroxymethyl-deoxycytidine) and use of smaller sample volumes such as tissue obtained from needle biopsies.
Pharmacodynamics (PD) is the study of what the drug does to the body (i.e. its effect). By relating PD effects to PK parameters, the PK/PD relationship can be determined. To this end, a variety of PD assays (e.g. biomarker assays) were established to support several clinical trials. We are looking to expand our portfolio in the future.
As we are working with clinical samples the facility is compliant to the MHRA guidelines entitled ‘GCP in the Clinical Laboratory’. In addition to the analysis of PK samples we can also offer advice on the design of PK and efficacy studies.