Douwe D. Breimer
Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands
Systems pharmacology deals with the study of drug effects caused by dynamic interactions between several different components (targets) of a biological system. It explains why certain complex pathophysiological conditions require multitarget interventions in order to achieve an optimal therapeutic effect. Important examples are combinations of more than one drug aiming at different targets simultaneously and synergetically, which are currently used in hypertension, HIV, diabetes, cancer etc. Systems pharmacological principles establish the rational basis for such drug combinations, this in contrast to several combinations that have no more than an empirical background. PK/PD modelling approaches represent the experimental tool to identify the resilicience of a biological system as well its sensitivity to pharmacological interventions, including synergism between different compounds and mechanisms.
In this presentation it will be explained that in the future rational drug therapy will far often than is currently the case, be based on evidence-based combinations of new (and existing) drugs aiming at multiple targets simultaneously. It will also be attempted to combine different drug properties into one and the same molecule: multitarget drugs.