Table of Contents
ISRN Pharmaceutics
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 806789, 8 pages
Review Article

Human Tissue in the Evaluation of Safety and Efficacy of New Medicines: A Viable Alternative to Animal Models?

27 Wodehouse Terrace, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 3EN, UK

Received 18 April 2011; Accepted 15 May 2011

Academic Editors: K. Arimori and J. Arnold

Copyright © 2011 Robert A. Coleman. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The pharma Industry's ability to develop safe and effective new drugs to market is in serious decline. Arguably, a major contributor to this is the Industry's extensive reliance on nonhuman biology-based test methods to determine potential safety and efficacy, objective analysis of which reveals poor predictive value. An obvious alternative approach is to use human-based tests, but only if they are available, practical, and effective. While in vivo (phase 0 microdosing with high sensitivity mass spectroscopy) and in silico (using established human biological data), technologies are increasingly being used, in vitro human approaches are more rarely employed. However, not only are increasingly sophisticated in vitro test methods now available or under development, but the basic ethically approved infrastructure through which human cells and tissues may be acquired is established. Along with clinical microdosing and in silico approaches, more effective access to and use of human cells and tissues in vitro provide exciting and potentially more effective opportunities for the assessment of safety and efficacy of new medicines.