Next Step in Drug Development using Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

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Kran Suknuntha


Once a potential compound has been discovered through the process of discovery, it undergoes extensive testing stages of drug development including pre-clinical research on animals, clinical trials on humans, and a step of obtaining regulatory approval to market the drug. For approximately every 5,000 to 10,000 compounds that enter preclinical testing, only one is approved for marketing. Thus, it is not surprising that a cost of research and development for each single approved drug may cost up to 2.6 billion USD. With the invention of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), several hard-to-get human tissues and human diseases can be made in a cell culture dish. Use of these cells in high-throughput analyses should simplify overall processes of drug development and hold promise as a cost-effective platform that may reduce price of a new drug. In this review we discuss on how to generate iPSCs, how they are being utilized to mimic human diseases, and the feasibility of using iPSCs in drug discovery and development.


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