Mass spectrometry imaging in drug discovery
Mass spectrometry imaging allows direct measurement of the molecular composition of a sample. It can be used to image the spatial distribution of exogenous drugs and endogenous metabolites simultaneously over the surface of tissue sections or small biopsy, allowing new insights into both compound efficacy and safety during drug discovery.
This label-free imaging modality is influencing pharmaceutical research primarily in pre-clinical discovery and development. However, mass spectrometry imaging is on the cusp of aiding translational research into clinical medicine to enhance patient stratification.
Tackling compound attrition is crucial in reducing the risk of significant financial losses or delay in bringing new medicines to market. It is of paramount importance during drug discovery to understand the efficacy and safety profile of a new therapeutic as soon as possible to allow effective project intervention, redesign of studies, or even cancellation. Efficacy and safety data can allow the findings from failures to positively impact future programmes.