November 25, 2005
Scientists at the Technische Universitat Dresden are engaged in a European research project entitled "BioSim", which uses biosimulation as a tool for drug development. The use of computer simulations will provide more objective data which can help to develop drug compounds more effectively. The use of biosimulation will also help reduce the number of animal tests and human clinical studies.
"We intend to translate the existing knowledge of drug metabolism and the operating modes of several organs into mathematical models. These serve to perform complex computer simulations of the involved biochemical processes", said assistant professor Martin Bertau, biochemist at the Department of Chemistry and Food Chemistry at the Technische Universitat Dresden.
The BioSim project has been funded with 10.7 million euros by the European Union for a five year period since December 2004 and brings together leading European research groups in the fields of life sciences, medicine and mathematics. The activities are coordinated by Professor Erik Mosekilde, Institute of Physics at the Danish University of Technology in Kgs. Lyngby. Representing the pharmaceutical industry is Apogepha Arzneimittel GmbH, in Dresden. The network is completed by European regulatory agencies as well as the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
In addition to a model of drug metabolism, the project provides approaches to the biosimulation of diabetes, cardiac arrhythmia, neurologic/psychiatric disorders and cancer.
At the TU Dresden, a working group of nine scientists headed by assistant professor Martin Bertau of the Institute of Biochemistry as well as researchers from the Institute of High-Performance Computing have participated in BioSim. Recently, their novel approach in predicting drug metabolism has been successfully demonstrated, using the model drug compound, chloramphenicol.
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