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The second conference of the International Society for the Study of Xenobiotics (ISSX) in India – by Rukmini Kumar 

Modeling in ISSX: Vantage was excited to go to the second ISSX in India to enjoy the great programming as well as we were helping with the organization of the modeling track. Plenty of modeling content was available for the participants to absorb: short course on GastroPlus from Simulations Plus, short course on a range of modeling techniques (organized by Vantage). As well in the speaking session on Adverse Drug Reactions, couple of the speakers highlighted the contribution of DILIsym to their research.
The modeling track was moderated by Vikram Prabhakar from Vantage. Shiela Peters from Merck-Serrono led the session with an in-depth overview of Physiology Based Pharmacokinetic Modeling (PBPK). Given that Shiela had indeed written the book on PBPK, the speaking slot was barely enough to cover the range of topics she reviewed! Matt Harwood of Certara spoke about the approach of SimCyp to liver toxicity and DDI and shared some of the strides from a ‘nice-to-have’ technology to a ‘must-have’ software in multiple companies.
I spoke about the approach in mechanistic modeling (QSP) and a case study in diabetes and I aimed to demystify the process at least a little bit! Kas Subramanian, from Syngene, spoke about the approach to liver toxicity modeling in the ‘Virtual Liver’ platform developed while at Strand and success stories from it.
In the panel discussion that followed, audience members asked a range of questions. From detailed ones on the PBPK approaches as well as on the general direction of adopting of novel techniques in pharma R&D. How can the models be evaluated? How are they distinct? How are these approaches related to machine learning and data science? Etc. (not all of which could be satisfactorily answered!)
Maithreye and Prakash showed posters on general QSP approach at Vantage in particular a case study in hypertension. They fielded questions from several interested academic and pharma scientists.
ISOP sponsorship: Shout out to ISOP who sponsored the modeling track as part of their outreach to both international scientists and DMPK and other groups within pharma. We appreciate it!
Community of Drug development R&D scientists in India: Vantage has worked for 4 years now with leading pharma companies on drug development – but our exposure was more to colleagues outside India – so it was great to be introduced to the ISSX community in India last year via their annual conference. ISSX’s second year was very well organized by Murali Subramanian and ably supported by his colleagues at Syngene-BBRC. The conference overall focused on DMPK, early discovery, DDIs, tox and was well represented by world leaders in the various disciplines. The conference is still in its early days and retained a cozy, familiar feel – though as this community grows, I can see this as being a ‘destination conference’ for sub-continent pharma scientists.
Thanks ISSX-India – see you next year!

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