Institute for Applied Cancer Science
In Vivo Pharmacology
The in vivo pharmacology team conducts experiments in animal models to support lead identification, optimization, and clinical candidate selection and is an integral part of the translational medicine effort.
Team scientists conduct experiments using IACS's novel therapeutics in the relevant disease models to assess efficacy and therapeutic index of drug candidates and to determine the extent and duration of target inhibition required to achieve maximal efficacy at tolerated doses (i.e. PK/PD/efficacy relationships studies). These studies are always conducted in comparison with standard-of-care regimens for the relevant cancer type to verify that the novel agents provide a therapeutic benefit compared to existing therapies.
Cancers are robust systems that are rarely sensitive to perturbation of a single pathway and can rapidly develop resistance to single agents. Thus in the early stages of a drug development program it is imperative to identify drugs, approved or in clinical development, which can work synergistically with the novel agent to increase efficacy. The in vivo pharmacology team works in close collaboration with the other IACS teams, as well as MD Anderson disease centers to identify and test the novel agents in combination therapies using the most appropriate preclinical models in order to prioritize the combinations that are most likely to provide significant benefit to patients.
In vivo pharmacology efforts are led by Carlo Toniatti, M.D., Ph.D.