Current challenges and opportunities in nonclinical safety testing of biologics

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Industry experts gathered on 3–4 December 2012 in Basel for the 2nd Annual BioSafe European General Membership Meeting, where they shared experiences and insights into the nonclinical safety assessment of new biotherapeutic entities.

Nonclinical safety testing of new biotherapeutic entities represents its own challenges and opportunities in drug development. Hot topics in this field have been discussed recently at the 2nd Annual BioSafe European General Membership Meeting. In this feature article, discussions on the challenges surrounding the use of PEGylated therapeutic proteins, selection of cynomolgus monkey as preclinical species, unexpected pharmacokinetics of biologics and the safety implications thereof are summarized. In addition, new developments in immunosafety testing of biologics, the use of transgenic mouse models and PK and safety implications of multispecific targeting approaches are discussed. Overall, the increasing complexity of new biologic modalities and formats warrants tailor-made nonclinical development strategies and experimental testing.

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