Virtual studies target antibiotic dosing

Attempting to minimize the trial-and-error repetition of early-phase testing, an expert in experimental therapeutics and a computer-aided systems engineer are using modeling and simulation to pit antibiotics against pathogens. They're conducting virtual studies of drug effects on organisms to give researchers a jump on dosing studies.

The University of Houston researchers, Michael Nikolaou and Vincent Tam, developed pharmacodynamic models of the interactions between certain antibiotics and pathogens. Their simulations project how bacteria would respond to different exposures of a drug. They hope to be able to determine how much medicine a patient should take, as well as frequency and duration.

If successful, the approach will let drug sponsors begin clinical testing with an informed sense of dosing regimens that offer the highest probability of success.

Next steps involve refining a model prototype into a computer program for use in a clinical setting. The researchers say some drugmakers are following their work.

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