Use of the rat in cardiovascular screening assays

During the 2023 Safety Pharmacology Society (SPS) Conference in Brussels, scientists from leading preclinical contract organizations (CROs) discussed how traditional IND-enabling studies involving primates and dogs can be complemented (and sometimes even replaced) by alternative models such as mice, rats, rabbits and pigs.

Dr. Michael Stonerook (AmplifyBio, OH, USA) highlighted the benefits and limitations of the rat model for cardiovascular screening assays.

This article summarizes some of the key points that were presented during the event and includes the video recording of the talk.


Dr. Michael Stonerook is the lead Safety Pharmacologist and Chief Surgeon for AmplifyBio, a contract research organization focused on discovery, manufacturing, and preclinical drug development with cell and gene therapy products and new chemical entities. 

He also holds an appointment as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine with teaching responsibilities in Physiology, Pharmacology, and Toxicology. Dr. Stonerook was an attendee of the General and Safety Pharmacology Group Meetings (1997-1999) that gave rise to the Safety Pharmacology Society, of which he was an inaugural member.

Dr. Stonerook has participated in many roles during his career including Attending Veterinarian, surgical veterinarian, study director for pharmaceutical safety pharmacology studies and general toxicology studies (GLP and non-GLP), production of IND packages, and manager/director of research groups. 

Dr. Stonerook’s research experience includes the direction and evaluation of cardiovascular safety studies, respiratory safety studies, inhalation delivery studies, and intravenous infusion studies (ambulatory and non-ambulatory in multiple species).  Additionally, he has had roles in the development and testing of equipment and animal models currently in use in safety pharmacology studies throughout the industry.

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