Certara Appoints Professor Piet van der Graaf to Lead Its New Quantitative Systems Pharmacology Organization

PRINCETON, NJ – Dec. 1, 2015 – Certara®, the global biosimulation technology-enabled drug development company, today announced that it has appointed Professor Piet van der Graaf, PharmD, PhD, as its vice president of quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP) and the head of its new Simcyp® QSP organization.


Van der Graaf is professor of systems pharmacology, chair of pharmacology, and director of the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He is also a former director of XenoloqiQ, the UK-based QSP consultancy, which Certara just acquired.


QSP combines computational modeling and experimental methods to examine the mechanistic relationships between a drug, the biological system, and the disease process.


"Certara recognizes the critical role that QSP is going to play in the global drug development and regulatory decision making processes. This innovative modeling approach provides a mechanistic understanding of the relationships between dose and pharmacological response and the inter-relationship with the disease and its progression," said Simcyp President Steve Toon, PhD. "Piet is a global authority on QSP and the ideal person to head up our new Simcyp QSP organization. We are delighted to have him join our team."


In the past, medical researchers thought that a single target – a receptor, channel, protein or enzyme – was responsible for causing a particular disease. However, that was found to be true in only a limited number of cases, most of which have been addressed. The remaining diseases are all manifestations of several changes in the system.


QSP helps to draw a map of biological networks and identify hot spots that need to be hit simultaneously to generate the desired effect. It provides vital intelligence for the drug discovery process by showing researchers what combined effects a successful drug candidate needs to have.


QSP can also assist in identifying the best dose and combination of drugs for an individual based on their own phenotypic traits, which are derived using a variety of tests.


"Certara is a leader in biosimulation and we have a shared vision of QSP's potential," said Professor van der Graaf. "We plan to add biological systems and disease process data to Certara's Simcyp Simulator and further inform its population-based pharmacokinetic modeling and simulation. This will have a major impact on the industry."


Professor van der Graaf is Editor-in-Chief of CPT: Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacology, the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics' journal, and a fellow of the British Pharmacological Society. He holds several target discovery patents and has (co-)authored more than 100 papers and book chapters on quantitative and translational pharmacology. He has given around 100 lectures at international symposia and workshops on these topics.


Professor van der Graaf has a PhD in clinical medicine. He received his doctorate training in quantitative receptor pharmacology with Nobel laureate Sir James Black at King's College London.


About Certara

Certara is a global biosimulation technology-enabled drug development company. Its customers include hundreds of biopharmaceutical companies around the globe, together with several regulatory agencies. Certara's solutions, which span the discovery, preclinical and clinical stages of drug development, enable superior drug development and regulatory decision-making through biosimulation, thus increasing R&D productivity and commercial value. For more information, visit www.certara.com.