The activities of drug inactive ingredients on biological targets
This virtual meeting will include a perspective from Laszlo Urban (Novartis) and a discussion session.
Excipients, considered “inactive ingredients”, are a major component of formulated drugs and play key roles in their pharmacokinetics. Despite their pervasiveness, whether they are active on any targets has not been systematically explored. We computed the likelihood that approved excipients would bind to molecular targets. Testing in vitro revealed 25 excipient activities, ranging from low-nM to high-μM. Another 109 activities were identified by testing against clinical safety targets. In cellular models, five excipients had fingerprints predictive of system-level toxicities. Exposures of seven excipients were investigated, and in certain populations, two of these may reach levels of in vitro target potency. While most excipients deserve their status as inert, many approved excipients may directly modulate physiologically relevant targets.