Innovative approaches and recent advances in the study of ontogeny of drug metabolism and transport

Bianca D. van Groen, Karel Allegaert, Dick Tibboel, Saskia N. de Wildt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


The disposition of a drug is driven by various processes, such as drug metabolism, drug transport, glomerular filtration and body composition. These processes are subject to developmental changes reflecting growth and maturation along the paediatric continuum. However, knowledge gaps exist on these changes and their clinical impact. Filling these gaps may aid better prediction of drug disposition and creation of age-appropriate dosing guidelines. We present innovative approaches to study these developmental changes in relation to drug metabolism and transport. First, analytical methods such as including liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry for proteomic analyses allow quantitation of the expressions of a wide variety of proteins, e.g. membrane transporters, in a small piece of organ tissue. The latter is specifically important for paediatric research, where tissues are scarcely available. Second, innovative study designs using radioactive labelled microtracers allowed study—without risk for the child—of the oral bioavailability of compounds used as markers for certain drug metabolism pathways. Third, the use of modelling and simulation to support dosing recommendations for children is supported by both the European Medicines Agency and the US Food and Drug Administration. This may even do away with the need for a paediatric trial. Physiologically based pharmacokinetics models, which include age-specific physiological information are, therefore, increasingly being used, not only to aid paediatric drug development but also to improve existing drug therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4285-4296
Number of pages12
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

The authors thank J. Hagoort for editorial assistance.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Pharmacological Society.


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