Metabolomics approaches for discovering biomarkers of drug-induced hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity

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Hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity are two major reasons that drugs are withdrawn post-market, and hence it is of major concern to both the FDA and pharmaceutical companies. The number of cases of serious adverse effects (SAEs) in marketed drugs has climbed faster than the number of total drug prescriptions issued. In some cases, preclinical animal studies fail to identify the potential toxicity of a new chemical entity (NCE) under development. The current clinical chemistry biomarkers of liver and kidney injury are inadequate in terms of sensitivity and/or specificity, prompting the need to discover new translational specific biomarkers of organ injury. Metabolomics along with genomics and proteomics technologies have the capability of providing translational diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers specific for early stages of liver and kidney injury. Metabolomics has several advantages over the other omics platforms such as ease of sample preparation, data acquisition and use of biofluids collected through minimally invasive procedures in preclinical and clinical studies. The metabolomics platform is reviewed with particular emphasis on applications involving drug-induced hepatotoxicity and nephrotoxicity. Analytical platforms for metabolomics, chemometrics for mining metabolomics data and the applications of the metabolomics technologies are covered in detail with emphasis on recent work in the field.

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