Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary 1 - ARIADME (Analytical Research In ADME profiling (ARIADME))

° Project background & objectives

The integration of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) profiling into early drug discovery has been put forward as a strategy for reducing drug candidate attrition. Europe is challenged to develop novel ADME screening methodologies with increased efficiency and predictive power to profile the multitude of lead compounds currently being generated. The principal objective of this programme is to train a new generation of ADME scientists, equipped to tackle the challenge.
To this end, a structured, interdisciplinary training programme is set up. The programme enrolls 13 early-stage researchers (ESRs) in a training consortium consisting of 4 academic (KU Leuven, University of Copenhagen, VU University Amsterdam and Uppsala University) and 2 industrial full partners (Janssen Pharmaceutica and Unilever R&D). The consortium is further supported by 8 non-academic associate partners. The scientific aim of the programme is to improve and expand the current ADME profiling armamentarium by introducing 1) innovative ADME tools 2) novel analytical methodologies and 3) new computational approaches.

° Work progress

The 1st of October 2013 was the official start of the ARIADME project. The first few months were marked by 2 changes in associate partners: AstraZeneca Mölndal and Waters Corporation replaced WaveCraft i Uppsala AB and Dionex, respectively.

The project website was launched in January 2014 and provides information on the individual research projects (IRPs), the scientific output and network-wide events.
The recruitment of the ESRs was completed after approx. 6 months (03/03/2014), just in time for the Kick-off meeting which was held in Leuven, Belgium (09-12/03/2014). On the final day, an open symposium on ADME profiling was organised in connection to the Kick-off meeting.
In July 2014 a project video was launched on YouTube ( The project video was well received by the general public and also featured on the home page of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions.

Close to the end of the first year, a workshop was held in Copenhagen, Denmark (14-17/09/2014), organised by the local ESRs. During this workshop, the ESRs presented their research progress, the personal career development plans were approved by the general assembly and the ESRs had courses in scientific writing, presentation skills, and project and literature management. On the final day an open symposium on novel and improved ADME tools took place.
Shortly after the 1st workshop, the first measurable output was being generated with 2 articles being co-authored by ESR 1, and 4 posters being presented at conferences before the end of 2014, i.e. less than 1 year after their recruitment.

In spring of 2015, an overview poster was made to promote ARIADME at (local) conferences. We also made a presentation to promote ARIADME and European research to 16-18 year old adolescents in secondary schools and encourage them to pursue a career in life sciences.
In May 2015, we organised the first webinar where ESRs from WP 1 presented their work. The webinars are meant as an exercise in presentation skills as well as a tool to strengthen internal communication and collaboration.

By that time, all ESRs were making good progress in their IRPs and the first 3 first-author articles from ARIADME fellows were accepted. Fuchs et al. developed an electromembrane extraction probe for real-time monitoring of drug metabolism (Fuchs et al. Anal Chem. 2015). In addition, at Janssen Pharmaceutica a fast and easy method for metabolite identification by chemical derivatization and desorption ionization–mass spectrometry (DESI-MS) was developed. The article featured on the cover of the Journal of Mass Spectrometry in July (Lubin et al. J Mass Spectrom. 2015). Finally, Riethorst et al. performed an in-depth characterization of human duodenal fluids in fed and fasted state that may serve as reference data for physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling and the optimization of biorelevant simulated intestinal fluids (Riethorst et al. J Pharm Sci. 2015). On top of these research articles, ARIADME fellows (co-)authored 2 reviews and 1 book chapter on metabonomics (Ramana et al. Methods Mol Biol. 2015), mass spectrometry imaging (Nilsson et al. Anal Chem. 2015) and capillary electrophoresis (Ramana et al. Electrophoresis. 2015). In addition, all ARIADME fellows attended the ULLA Summer School in Paris, France (04-11/07/2015) where they presented their work. The scientific work also resulted in 13 conference presentations by October 2015, bringing the total number of conference presentations to 17.

The 2nd year ended with the mid-term review meeting and 2nd workshop held at the campus of VU University Amsterdam (25-28/08/2015) and organised by the ESRs at VU University Amsterdam, Janssen Pharmaceutica and Unilever. On this occasion, the consortium received positive oral feedback from the project officer and external reviewer. Formal written feedback was received on 19 November. The project was highlighted as a success story. The necessary corrective actions are being taken to address the minor points of concern raised by the review.

° Summary of the first two years in numbers

13 ESRs, 33 (co-)supervisors, 6 full partners, 8 associated partners, 8 peer reviewed publications, 17 conference presentations, 1 project video, 1 kick-off meeting, 1 summer school, 2 workshops and 3 symposia with a total of 121 researchers from outside the network participating.

° Expected results, impact and future perspectives

Multiple research articles are in preparation and are expected to be submitted by the end of 2015 or early 2016. The majority of secondments by the ESRs are scheduled to take place before June 2016 and are expected to have a positive impact on the work of the ESRs. A third workshop will be organised in Uppsala, Sweden in August 2016.
In terms of scientific impact, ARIADME is expected to have a major impact on the field of ADME profiling by not only establishing new models (e.g. the locust for metabolism studies, zebrafish for blood-brain barrier experiments) or providing reference data for computational models, but also by developing those models and creating new analytical tools and methods that can be implemented in the drug development process in the future.
In terms of career development, all ARIADME fellows are expected to obtain their PhD during or shortly after the project. The ESRs will not only have demonstrated their scientific competence, but will also have been trained in a number of transferable skills that will help them in establishing successful career paths and become leaders in academia, pharmaceutical industry or science policy. As such, ARIADME will strengthen Europe’s leading position in pharmaceutical sciences and contribute to its health and economy.

° Contact information

Project coordinator prof. Patrick Augustijns
Drug Delivery and Disposition, O&N II Herestraat 49 - box 921, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
tel. +32 16 33 03 01 or +32 16 33 03 00;

Project manager dr. Tim Thijs
Drug Delivery and Disposition, O&N II Herestraat 49 - box 921, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
tel. +32 16 32 22 70;

° Project logo in attachment


Sofie Heroes, (Advisor European Projects)
Tel.: +32 16 329979
Fax: +32 16 326515


Life Sciences
Record Number: 184177 / Last updated on: 2016-06-08
Information source: SESAM