Recent advances in the translation of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics science for drug discovery and development

Yurong Lai, Xiaoyan Chu, Li Di, Wei Gao, Yingying Guo, Xingrong Liu, Chuang Lu, Jialin Mao, Hong Shen, Huaping Tang, Cindy Q. Xia, Lei Zhang, Xinxin Ding

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) is an important branch of pharmaceutical sciences. The nature of ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion) and PK (pharmacokinetics) inquiries during drug discovery and development has evolved in recent years from being largely descriptive to seeking a more quantitative and mechanistic understanding of the fate of drug candidates in biological systems. Tremendous progress has been made in the past decade, not only in the characterization of physiochemical properties of drugs that influence their ADME, target organ exposure, and toxicity, but also in the identification of design principles that can minimize drug-drug interaction (DDI) potentials and reduce the attritions. The importance of membrane transporters in drug disposition, efficacy, and safety, as well as the interplay with metabolic processes, has been increasingly recognized. Dramatic increases in investments on new modalities beyond traditional small and large molecule drugs, such as peptides, oligonucleotides, and antibody-drug conjugates, necessitated further innovations in bioanalytical and experimental tools for the characterization of their ADME properties. In this review, we highlight some of the most notable advances in the last decade, and provide future perspectives on potential major breakthroughs and innovations in the translation of DMPK science in various stages of drug discovery and development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2751-2777
Number of pages27
JournalActa Pharmaceutica Sinica B
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • ADME
  • Biologics license application
  • Drug discovery and development
  • Micro-physiological systems
  • Model-informed drug development
  • New drug application
  • New modalities
  • Pharmacokinetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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