“Children are not just small adults.” Land O’ Lakes Conference Presentation Explores the Effects of Age on Enzymatic Reactions

I had the great pleasure of sitting in on an amazing session at the 18th Annual Land O’Lakes Conference on Drug Metabolism/Applied Pharmacokinetics  held in late September at the University of Wisconsin-Madison regarding the role age plays in the liver metabolic process.  I was really struck by not only how different the liver processes drugs in the neonatal period compared to adults, but by how few models there are to address it.

There are no good animal models that directly mimic the maturation of the human liver.  As many drugs are not directly tested in pediatric populations during clinical trials, the default is to either scale dose by body weight or body surface. This group of researchers has tackled the problem from a pharmacokinetic modeling perspective using drug enzyme and transporter ontologies coupled with current methods of scaling.

Several articles from a recent issue of  Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics with children as the subject theme was cited as a main source for the presentation, as well as an article titled “Evaluation of child/adult pharmacokinetic differences from a database derived from the therapeutic drug literature.

It will be exciting to see this research area develop.  

The way biotransformation research currently views children. “Berlinghiero: Madonna and Child”  http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/worksof- art/60.173.