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Our History: More Than 25 Years of Building ADME & DDI Expertise

Looking back over our history, it is clear we have come a long way in our growth– including partnership with a highly respected laboratory in Tokai, Japan, expanding our offerings and adding to our already extensive expertise in non-clinical testing services for drug developers worldwide.

Laboratory Beginnings

In 1994, Dr. Andrew Parkinson was working in a lab at the University of Kansas Medical Center studying xenobiotics and recognized the growing need for drug developers to have an expert partner they could trust to explore the complexity of potential pathways of a drug through the body—much more work than one small university lab could handle. Thus, XenoTech was started by Dr. Parkinson and a small group of ambitious scientists eager to apply their expertise to development of safe, effective therapies for the patients that need them.

The name XenoTech stems from the term xenobiotic, a foreign substance to the body (such as a drug) which can have therapeutic or harmful effects. The space carved out by XenoTech and others explores intricacies of a drug’s metabolism and pharmacokinetic (DMPK) properties through investigation of interactions with the body via absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME). Many aspects of these properties can be explored through definitive experiments in vitro and have become a prerequisite for entry into clinical trials, so drug companies have come to rely on the experience of experts at XenoTech for quality studies carefully designed to meet rigorous testing standards.

SEKISUI XenoTech laboratory original and new facility

Young XenoTech developed into a leader in its field, writing the book on xenobiotic biotransformation— literally! The authors of the Biotransformation of Xenobiotics chapter in Casarett & Doull’s Toxicology have been predominantly XenoTech scientists. Some of the methods of conducting ADME studies or producing high-quality test systems which are now standard across the industry were born within our walls, and scientists have continued that legacy of leadership ever since.

For the next 15 years, XenoTech grew to provide products and services specific to nonclinical in vitro studies for worldwide drug developers used in submissions for regulatory approval. Over that time, the company grew from just a few people in a small lab to a state of the art laboratory facility in Kansas.

As our lab grows, we continue to place high value on innovation and efficiency to provide our clients with the most accurate and predictive data possible. In keeping with these principles, SEKISUI XenoTech scientists have consistently produced new technologies, such as patented cryopreservation techniques and novel in vitro processes to evaluate xenobiotic compounds in hepatocytes, and novel ways to evaluate therapeutic proteins as immunomodulators.

New Ties: In Vivo ADME with The Drug Development Solutions Center

Then in 2008, XenoTech was acquired by SEKISUI Chemical, an $11 billion global powerhouse in high-performance plastics, urban infrastructure, environmental products, and housing. A critical result of that transition was to significantly expand our capabilities by joining forces with another ADME laboratory across the world.

That laboratory is called The Drug Development Solutions Center and got its start almost 40 years before XenoTech. In 1955, Japan’s first radioisotope (RI) laboratory was established by Daiichi-Pure Chemicals to research and produce 14C labeled compounds..

In 1965, the laboratory was expanded to meet the growing demand for RI compound synthesis, moving to a sprawling, campus-style facility in a small town outside of Tokyo called Tokai-mura. In nascent years, business was built on radiopharmaceutical production and custom synthesis of radiolabeled compounds for use in studies off-site. But the lab soon expanded its niche role to also conduct the studies themselves, and in 1971 became the first in Japan to contract ADME studies in vivo.

The company continued to build experience and expertise in this field, and since has risen to become the largest market share holder for ADME studies in the entire country.

In 1995 the Tokai facility again expanded its offerings to meet the growing needs of drug developers to offer GLP-compliant Toxicokinetic studies as well. The facility has since received numerous inspections, each resulting in compliance with GLP standards, as well as approval from AAALAC International for appropriate use of laboratory animals in accordance with international standards.

In 2016, the facility officially adopted the name Drug Development Solutions Center. In appreciation of many thousands of studies performed over 50 years, the Center boasts an expansive selection of in vivo services regulated by various agencies (FDA, EMA, PMDA) in addition to custom testing for drug characteristics in molecular species beyond what is specified in regulatory guidelines.

Partners in Comprehensive ADME

The acquisition by SEKISUI in 2008 and subsequent partnership with XenoTech serves to represent another step toward comprehensive ADME, joining their in vivo expertise to our in vitro. Areas of current research expansion include drug transporters, drug-drug interactions, and more; the research conducted and shared between the two campuses strengthens our ability to move forward in improving testing practices and expanding industry knowledge of predictive assays and analysis in silico, in vitro, and in vivo.  

Together, we proudly offer a uniquely qualified suite of nonclinical studies and test systems to help drug developers navigate through myriad possible circumstances and feel confident in partnership with the true experts in ADME/DMPK/DDI.

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