MAY 30, 2018 06:00 AM PDT

Phenotypic Profiling for Improving Drug Discovery Productivity

C.E. CREDITS: P.A.C.E. CE | Florida CE
  • Chief Scientific Officer, Translational Biology, Eurofins DiscoverX
      Dr. Ellen L. Berg is Chief Scientific Officer for the DiscoverX BioSeek Business Unit. Dr. Berg is responsible for the BioMAP® platform of human primary cell-based assays and predictive analysis tools. Dr. Berg was a founder and the CSO of BioSeek, acquired by DiscoverX in 2012, and previously led a research team at Protein Design Labs developing novel therapeutic antibodies for inflammatory diseases. She is an expert in in vitro models of human disease and tissue biology, holds a number of patents, and has authored over 75 publications in the areas of inflammation, systems biology, phenotypic drug discovery, and drug and toxicity mechanisms of action. Dr. Berg has served in various positions with the Society of Laboratory Automation and Screening and is a member of the Society of Toxicology.

      Dr. Berg has a Ph.D. from Northwestern University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University.


    The pharmaceutical industry’s productivity crisis is well known with >90% of drug candidates failing in clinical testing, primarily due to unexpected toxicity or lack of efficacy.  Despite advances in high throughput ‘omics technologies and the large volume of information that is now amassed on new drug candidates, the probability of success for new molecules is not improving.  Scannel and Bosney (2016) have pointed to a lack of predictive preclinical models as one of the key factors.  New approaches using human-based in vitro cell systems are showing promise for replacing the use of animal models, particularly in cases where animal testing has failed to predict human effects. These new approaches will be described along with case studies that illustrate how these methods can generate mechanistic hypotheses for drug induced cardiovascular toxicity.  Also to be discussed is how phenotypic assay data may be incorporated into safety risk assessments through the adverse outcome pathway framework being developed for chemical safety testing.

    Learning Objectives: 

    1. Learn about non-animal based in vitro assays for preclinical testing in drug discovery.
    2. Review some of the factors that make it challenging to predict drug efficacy in clinical testing.
    3. Find out about new hypotheses underlying cardiovascular disease and drug induced cardiotoxicity.

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