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Data Science Helps Assess the Safety of “Inactive” Ingredients in Drugs

Posted on April 23rd, 2019 by in Pharma R&D

Data Science Helps Assess the Safety of “Inactive” Ingredients in Drugs

Consumers may make the assumption that the so-called “inactive” ingredients in pharmaceuticals are completely harmless. But inactive ingredients have the potential to become problematic for the wrong patient or in the wrong circumstance. For instance, inactive ingredients like lactose or peanut oil can have a negative effect on users with relevant allergies. Excipients, which are not active but help enhance the active ingredients, also raise similar safety concerns.

To aid in the investigation of these non-active ingredients, data scientists can utilize powerful “tools” like semantic normalization, data mapping and analytics. One Elsevier team is currently using proprietary technology to link lists of excipients drawn from drug labels to standard IDs, which in turn will make it easier to discover how certain inactive ingredients might connect to adverse events reported in clinical trials or in the scientific literature.

Take a look at this update from Life Sciences consultant Maria Shkrob to learn more about the challenges of analyzing adverse events caused by excipients and how her team is overcoming them to help improve drug safety.

Nicki Catchpole

As a professional with over 14 years of experience in strategy development and partnership management across a variety of industries, Nicki’s latest role as a Senior Manager, Segment Marketing at Elsevier applies her skills to the area of drug discovery and development in the Pharma and Biotech industry.
In this capacity she is focused on understanding biopharmaceutical R&D challenges and turning them into opportunity to further Elsevier’s ability to serve industry executives and the professionals who innovate in the drug discovery and development space.
Nicki resides in New York City and holds a BA in English Literature and Mandarin Chinese from Carleton College in Northfield, MN.

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