Prediction of drug disposition on the basis of its chemical structure

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The chemical structure of any drug determines its pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Detailed understanding of relationships between the drug chemical structure and individual disposition pathways (i.e., distribution and elimination) is required for efficient use of existing drugs and effective development of new drugs. Different approaches have been developed for this purpose, ranging from statistics-based quantitative structure-property (or structure-pharmacokinetic) relationships (QSPR) analysis to physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models. This review critically analyzes currently available approaches for analysis and prediction of drug disposition on the basis of chemical structure. Models that can be used to predict different aspects of disposition are presented, including: (a) value of the individual pharmacokinetic parameter (e.g., clearance or volume of distribution), (b) efficiency of the specific disposition pathway (e.g., biliary drug excretion or cytochrome P450 3A4 metabolism), (c) accumulation in a specific organ or tissue (e.g., permeability of the placenta or accumulation in the brain), and (d) the whole-body disposition in the individual patients. Examples of presented pharmacological agents include "classical" low-molecular-weight compounds, biopharmaceuticals, and drugs encapsulated in specialized drug-delivery systems. The clinical efficiency of agents from all these groups can be suboptimal, because of inefficient permeability of the drug to the site of action and/or excessive accumulation in other organs and tissues. Therefore, robust and reliable approaches for chemical structure-based prediction of drug disposition are required to overcome these limitations. PBPK models are increasingly being used for prediction of drug disposition. These models can reflect the complex interplay of factors that determine drug disposition in a mechanistically correct fashion and can be combined with other approaches, for example QSPR-based prediction of drug permeability and metabolism, pharmacogenomic data and tools, pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic modeling approaches, etc. Moreover, the PBPK models enable detailed analysis of clinically relevant scenarios, for example the effect of the specific conditions on the time course of the analyzed drug in the individual organs and tissues, including the site of action. It is expected that further development of such combined approaches will increase their precision, enhance the effectiveness of drugs, and lead to individualized drug therapy for different patient populations (geriatric, pediatric, specific diseases, etc.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-431
Number of pages17
JournalClinical Pharmacokinetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Prediction of drug disposition on the basis of its chemical structure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this