Improve Drug Project Success by Understanding Drug Target Safety

Life Sciences, Drug Discovery & Development, Drug Safety,
  • Thursday, October 01, 2020

At least 50 percent of drug safety failures are attributable to target-related effects. So, it makes sense to understand potential safety liabilities associated with a target early in projects, in order to anticipate and manage those issues before they arise.

A target safety assessment (TSA) brings together public domain information (target homology, gene and protein expression profiles, transgenic and mutation phenotype data, competitor compounds) into a report that identifies and categorizes key risks by organ/tissue and by physiological functions. This systematic categorization is used as the basis of a risk mitigation plan with ranking of risks and potential next steps, presented as a Word document with embedded PowerPoint.

Join this educational webinar to learn how target safety assessments (TSAs) are used to determine the potential consequences of modulating a target and provide options on how to assess those risks. Experts will describe how we derive relevant insights from the vast amount of publicly available information to provide clients with a focused assessment of key risks, tailored for each individual project.

In this webinar, the presenters will explore data access and interpretation using case studies to demonstrate the TSA value proposition, ultimately improving project success.


Ruth Roberts

Professor Ruth Roberts, Director and Co-founder, ApconiX Ltd

Dr. Ruth Roberts is a co-founder of ApconiX and Chair and Director of Drug Discovery at the University of Birmingham, UK. She was previously Global Head of Regulatory Safety at AstraZeneca. With over 140 publications in peer-reviewed journals, she is former president of the British Toxicology Society, former president of EUROTOX, former secretary to SOT, Past President of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences and a member of the Health and Environmental Sciences (HESI) board.

Message Presenter
Claire Sadler

Dr. Claire Sadler, Project Toxicologist, ApconiX

Dr. Claire Sadler is an experienced project toxicologist and former Director of Discovery Safety within AstraZeneca. Dr. Sadler specializes in early project safety assessment, identifying and mitigating risks from target identification through to early clinical trials, designing and implementing bespoke safety packages to drive compound design and selection. She has worked across multiple therapy areas including oncology, infection, immune and cardiovascular.

Message Presenter
Leigh Ann Burns Naas

Dr. Leigh Ann Burns Nass, President/Owner, Magnolia Toxicology Consulting, LLC

Dr. Leigh Ann Burns Naas is an independent consultant providing advice in the areas of nonclinical safety and strategic planning for drug development, and technical due diligence for in-licensing business development opportunities. She was previously Vice President/Head of Nonclinical Safety & Pathobiology at Gilead Sciences and was a Drug Safety Research & Development Therapeutic Area Leader in Oncology and Infectious Disease at Pfizer. She is a former President of both the Society of Toxicology and American College of Toxicology as well as being a Past President of the Academy of Toxicological Sciences.

Message Presenter

Who Should Attend?

This webinar will appeal to project leaders, directors, vice-presidents, thought leaders, researchers, procurement leaders and toxicologists who are working in biotech companies, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and in academia in roles relating to:

  • Drug development
  • Drug discovery
  • Discovery chemistry
  • Discovery and development project management and leadership
  • Nonclinical safety/toxicology
  • Safety assessment
  • Safety and secondary pharmacology
  • Resourcing
  • Procurement

What You Will Learn

In this webinar, participants will:

  • Understand the benefit of Target Safety Assessments and how they can lead to a reduction in safety-related attrition
  • Learn about managing hazard versus risk in drug projects
  • See how knowledge of target biology can drive better decision-making and prioritization of research activities
  • Learn how to generate the tools to develop and implement risk-mitigation plans
  • Learn how understanding drug target safety can improve drug project success

Xtalks Partner


ApconiX are experts in ion channel biology, target safety assessments and in all aspects of nonclinical programme design and delivery.

ApconiX was formed by three AstraZeneca colleagues with the drive and ambition to create a world-renowned company founded on the skills and experience of a growing team with a wide range of expertise in nonclinical drug safety.

The model for the pharmaceutical industry has evolved in recent years with large pharma reducing internal capability and outsourcing key skills to trusted partners. There are many more SMEs and academic groups who also need access to specialised services.

ApconiX addresses all needs by providing an exceptional group of scientists to these companies, in a cost-effective and flexible way. In this way, companies work with people they trust, to make better decisions on drug safety.

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