INSPIRE safety pharmacology

Mission and Objectives

New drug candidates often have off-target effects resulting in adverse events, thus representing a major limitation for drug R&D. Safety Pharmacology (SP) aims to detect, understand and reduce undesirable pharmacodynamic effects early-on. Especially, cardiovascular (CV) toxicity is problematic, as it is the most prevalent reason for failure during preclinical development and remains a key reason for drug attrition during clinical development and beyond. This indicates current SP screens fail to detect a number of (late-onset) functional or structural CV toxicities. Additionally, SP uses a significant number of laboratory animals, thereby creating opportunities for a better implementation of the 3Rs. The vision of INSPIRE is to advance and “inspire” SP by exploring new technological capabilities to addressing emerging CV safety concerns.

Hereto, INSPIRE unites expertise from academic teams, technology-providers, pharmaceutical companies, regulators and hospitals to create a European training platform for 15 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs). Key innovative aspects of INSPIRE include: i) in vitro humanized cardiomyocytes assays, ii) unparalleled in vivo hardware/software solutions, iii) in silico predictions of haemodynamics, iv) mass spectroscopy imaging of drug exposure, v) exploration of mechanisms of late-onset CV toxicity, as observed in cardio-oncology, and vi) early integration of feedback from industry and regulators.

Overall, INSPIRE constitutes a multidisciplinary and intersectoral training programme with a balanced combination of hands-on research training, intersectoral secondments, local courses and network-wide events on scientific and transferable skills, enabling future R&I collaborations. Hence, INSPIRE will equip the future generation of SP scientists with a wide range of scientific knowledge and the ability to adapt to a dynamic  industry.