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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Richard H. Alper, PhD (Pfizer Inc.)
Description: This book provides an introduction to the newly developing discipline of safety pharmacology. After an initial overview of the history and regulatory requirements for safety pharmacology, the author provides descriptions of in vivo and in vitro pre-clinical tests used to assess the effects of novel chemical entities on the function of most of the major organ systems.
Purpose: This book was written to answer questions about safety pharmacology and to add clarity to existing requirements. The primary objective is very timely because the discipline is not well recognized even though it is becoming increasingly critical in drug discovery and development. To present a review of the current regulatory environment and the practices used in the discipline is noteworthy. The book falls short in its second goal to add clarity to the existing requirements. As written, it is sometimes difficult for the reader to get a good understanding of the ICH guidelines as compared to the author's interpretation and extension of the guidelines.
Audience: The author does not state the intended audience for this book. The most appropriate audience is likely to be graduate students, academic pharmacologists and toxicologists, and people in related disciplines in academia and industry who are not directly involved in safety pharmacology. This book will provide them with knowledge of the field.
Features: In addition to addressing the regulatory issues, the book covers methodologies used or useful in the functional assessments of organ systems. It might have been clearer had the author included major divisions of the core battery (defined as CNS, cardiovascular and respiratory in the ICH guidelines) and supplemental studies (respiratory, renal, GI and other).
Assessment: The book is nicely written and provides some useful insight into the current state of the field. However, the author intermingles the concepts of safety pharmacology with overall safety assessments in drug development. Safety pharmacology studies are to support first in human studies (FIH) that are most commonly single dose studies in healthy human subjects. Much of the book discusses multidose, pre-clinical protocols using animal models of specific disease states. This might leave the reader with a misconception of what is required of the safety pharmacologist.