In silico clinical trials of regional lung deposition: how they could impact real life product development and patient care
Stavros C. Kassinos 1
1Computational Sciences Laboratory, University of Cyprus,
1 University Avenue, Nicosia, 2109, Cyprus
Over the last decade, we have witnessed an impressive expansion in the application of in silico methods for the prediction of regional lung deposition of inhaled drugs. This activity is reflected in the number of papers that have appeared in the scientific literature since the early 2000s. Yet, a critical review of the related literature also reveals a significant stratification in terms of the numerical methods used, and often, in the degree of rigor with which computer experiments are designed and executed. At the same time, different authors seem to have different visions as to what the ultimate role of in silico methods should be in the product development cycle, as well as in the patient-care setting. Here, we first take a look at the limitations set by the current simulation technology, as well as the expected advances that are forthcoming. We then use this information in order to outline a vision for the role of in silico methods in the near future, where possible offering examples from current simulations. The extent to which in silico methods will have an impact on product development and patient care will depend not only on the simulation technology itself, but also on the degree to which the technology is understood and thus trusted by key stakeholders, such as regulators and the industry. In this context, we highlight the importance of achieving a community consensus for a well-designed validation and verification strategy for in silico methods that are used for lung deposition predictions.