BPS, LASA & Psychiatry Consortium joint workshop: Exploring the Status of Preclinical Models of Psychiatric Disorders - Their Validity and Scope for Successful Translation - 25th February 2021.
The objective of the BPS (British Pharmacological Society), LASA (Laboratory Animal Science Association) & Psychiatry Consortium joint workshop was to explore ideas for refining existing preclinical models of psychiatric disorders to increase their translational validity, expanding their application across multiple domains in complex psychiatric disorders, and to discuss approaches to design novel behavioural models as a means to discover and develop new therapeutics.
This interactive workshop was free to attendees and its online format ensured participation of delegates from around the world and by a large number of early-career researchers. With a focus on good behavioural science being linked with high animal welfare standards, it also attracted attendance by representatives from the RSPCA and NC3Rs (National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research) as well as the scientific research community.
The presentation given by Professor David Heal who co-chaired the workshop highlighted the role that behavioural science plays not only in identifying new targets for drug discovery, but also as predictors of therapeutic efficacy and as indicators of drug safety and tolerability. DevelRx’s extensive experience and expertise in non-clinical evaluation of abuse and dependence was used to illustrate this point. Safety Pharmacology testing in drug development is critical because data from clinical trials will not serve as a safety net if serious drug-induced adverse events or potential are missed. For this reason, translational validity is an absolute essential.
The output from this highly successful and over-subscribed workshop will be the subject of a Commentary that will be published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.