Real-time continuous in vivo drug monitoring

Dear All: 

I recently became aware of a technology for real-time continuous in vivo monitoring of drug levels that I thought worth sharing with the broader community. Although we’ve for many years had continuous measures of analytes such as glucose or oxygen where simple chemistry gave a suitable measurement tool, measurement of arbitrary analytes has not previously been something that could be readily achieved.

As described in a new PNAS paper by Arroyo-Currás et al., there is now a technology that addresses this challenge. The idea starts with noting that aptamers (oligonucleotides with high affinity for specific molecules) undergo a conformational change when they bind their target. This change can be detected electrochemically if the aptamer is bound to a suitable electrode. In addition, Jennifer Hoover (GSK) and Kevin Plaxco (originator of the technology) have written a white paper that you can review for additional details.

While we’ve managed to work for many years with blood level monitoring using the sample-and-test strategy, the idea of being able to get instant levels is fascinating and might simplify some aspects of drug R&D. Many thanks for Jenn & Kevin for bringing this to my attention. Kevin would be happy to be contacted at kwp@chem.ucsb.edu if you’d like to explore ways to collaborate with him.

All best wishes, –jr

John H. Rex, MD | Chief Medical Officer, F2G Ltd. | Chief Strategy Officer, CARB-X | Expert-in-Residence, Wellcome Trust. Follow me on Twitter: @JohnRex_NewAbx. See past newsletters and subscribe for the future: http://amr.solutions/blog.html

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