Publications and Presentations

Driving Discovery – Predicting P450 Metabolism

Driving Discovery – Predicting P450 Metabolism

Jan 22, 2018

M. D. Segall, European Biopharmaceutical Review, 2017, pp 20-24. © Samedan Ltd

Find out Matt’s thoughts on the field of P450 metabolism prediction and how we can go about driving discovery. For more on P450, discover the StarDrop™ P450 module.


Cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes are responsible for almost 80% of drug metabolism in humans. Metabolism by P450s may lead to several issues for potential new drugs including: low bioavailability, rapid clearance, drug-drug interactions leading to toxicity or lack of efficacy, bioactivation to form reactive or toxic metabolites and variable metabolism in the patient population due to genetic polymorphisms.

In this article, we will discuss the questions that a drug discovery team may wish to ask in order to address or, ideally, avoid these issues. For example: Is a compound a substrate for a P450 enzyme and, if so, which isoform? For a compound that is metabolized by a P450, what sites are vulnerable to metabolism? What metabolites will be formed and what strategies could be explored to reduce the rate of metabolism?

In vitro experiments using liver microsomes or hepatocytes can be used address these questions. However, more detailed studies are time consuming and expensive. Therefore, computational, or in silico, predictions can be used to supplement experimental data or prioritise compounds for more detailed studies. Furthermore, in silico methods can help to guide the design of new compounds to overcome issues, exploring many optimisation strategies before the medicinal chemist chooses which compounds to synthesise and test. We will describe the state of the art of computational approaches for predicting P450 metabolism and identify areas for future development towards driving discovery.

Download this publication as a PDF via the button below, or visit the journal webpage.


Discover StarDrop™

With its comprehensive suite of integrated software, StarDrop™ delivers best-in-class in silico technologies within a highly visual and user-friendly interface. StarDrop™ enables a seamless flow from the latest data through predictive modelling to decision-making regarding the next round of synthesis and research, improving the speed, efficiency, and productivity of the drug optimisation and discovery process.