Data collected in vivo is mandatory to make informed decisions about drug development and screening. Researchers previously relied on animal models to obtain experimental measurements. The collection of specimens was invasive, labor-intensive, time-consuming, and costly.
A recently published paper takes a broad view of the science behind microsampling and examines its applications in animal testing, drug discovery, and beyond. It's worth reading in toto. Here are some of its key findings and considerations.
Microsampling: From Animal Research to Human Healthcare
Additionally, for humans, microsampling is an excellent alternative to venipuncture because it facilitates easy home blood sampling. This feature is particularly important for pharmaceutical companies targeting patients with episodic diseases.
The implementation of microsampling in pharmaceutical drug discovery compels researchers to consider several factors:
1. Volumetric Accuracy in Dried Blood Sampling
While microsampling has proven to be a more effective alternative old-fashioned to DBS cards, researchers are concerned about the accuracy of the data derived from the samples. The availability of a Volumetric Absorptive Microsampling (VAMS®) device (Mitra®) counters this fear. Researchers can collect multiple samples using multiple Mitra® micro samples.
2. Feasibility Analysis
Analysts should conduct a feasibility assessment before applying the technology to a study. The analysis should determine whether the study compound is feasible regarding the stability and sensitivity of the microsample analyte.
3. Probability of Data Continuity
Microsampling, properly used, should foster data continuity for future programs. This ensures TK and PK data can be translated between species and studies where necessary. The need for repeat studies is reduced.
4. Sample Handling Training
The quality of the sample is critical to the success of a study. Staff and patients should be trained to handle the samples collected. This improves sample quality and reduces data variability, especially in self-sampling.
Smarter Sampling in Drug Discovery: Making It Work
The ability to extract multiple profiles from the same specimen is an essential factor in early drug discovery. The emergence of microsampling technology expedites this process by improving data quality and reducing the number of specimens required for studies.
However, there is a need for researchers to factor the challenges that come with handling new technology. Special samples handling training, accuracy, and the need for feasibility analysis should be considered.