UW-developed research tool joins biosimulation company
As of June 20, Drug Interaction Solutions (DIS) and its Drug Interaction Database (DIDB®), a University of Washington-developed research tool for pharmaceutical scientists, has been acquired by Certara, a global leader in biosimulation and technology-enabled services that accelerate drug development. This transaction brings a world-renowned team of scientists and the database itself, the leading subscription-based informatics solution for the identification of pharmacokinetic drug interactions, to a new home and platform for continued growth. DIDB joins the Interactive Drug Development program and the Simcyp Simulator, a physiologically based pharmacokinetics platform, among Certara’s portfolio of tools.
Founded in 1999 by René Levy, now retired from UW’s School of Pharmacy, DIS began licensing access to its database in 2002 through an arrangement with CoMotion. It has operated as a nonprofit venture until now, with licensing revenues covering the costs of maintenance and the development of new features. For over two decades CoMotion collaborated with the team to build its licensing offerings, expand into new markets, and support partner contracting activities such as risk management, managing distributors, fee collection, and license renewals and intake.
DIDB®, led by cofounder and director Isabelle Ragueneau-Majlessi, is internationally recognized as an authoritative, unbiased, transparent research tool used by 210 organizations, including pharmaceutical companies, regulatory agencies, research groups, academic institutions, nonprofits, and publishers, in 40+ countries.
“We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Drug Interaction Solutions,” said Patrick Smith, president of integrated drug development consulting services at Certara, in a statement. “By incorporating the team and the database into our business, we enhance our best-in-class scientific offering for our clients. This furthers Certara’s unique capabilities in the modeling and simulation of drug-drug interaction studies.”
“I am thrilled to have successfully completed the DIDB acquisition by Certara,” said Roï Eisenkot, senior innovation manager at CoMotion. “The DIDB has long been held in high regard in the pharma industry as a scientifically rigorous drug interaction resource. In Certara we have found a fantastic partner to effectively leverage these strengths. We have reached a point where the DIDB has outgrown its UW birthplace and I eagerly anticipate seeing the DIDB explore fresh possibilities and markets as part of Certara.”
The FDA reports that two-thirds of patient visits result in prescriptions, which may interact with other medications or food products. The likelihood of an adverse drug reaction, one of the leading causes of injury and death in health care settings, goes up with the number of medications involved.
“We are now in the era of precision dosing and personalized therapy,” said Ragueneau-Majlessi, who retired from UW last month to lead the DIS team at Certara full time, to UW News in January 2022. “Even if we can’t prevent all drug interactions, we can manage them. If you understand the mechanism of the drug and its interactions, you can make sure that an individual patient is not negatively affected. Knowledge is power.”