Strand Lifesciences has received a US patent for virtual liver, which would aid the pharmaceutical industry in understanding liver-related issues better.

According to a company statement, a virtual liver would help in predicting and assessing hepatotoxicity of novel drug compounds in pre-clinical studies and would also help the pharmaceutical industry.

Hepatotoxicity is a liver disease caused due to chemical reaction in the liver — both from allopathic or herbal medicines.

The company started work on this in 2007 and is based on a rat’s liver, it said. Further, Strand's virtual liver is based on a model of normal liver physiology, which provides insights into how a drug compound or chemical impacts the liver, something which would help a pharmaceutical company to include the right amount of chemicals in their drugs, according to industry watchers.

Kalyanasundaram Subramanian, Chief Scientific Officer, Strand Lifesciences, said an estimated 50 per cent of drug failures in the clinical trial stage are attributed to toxicity, out of which 60 per cent are attributed to liver injury.

Growing concern Hepatotoxicity has been a big concern in the developed markets, with commonly prescribed drugs such as paracetamol causing liver damage due to excessive use.

Further, common drugs such as Isoniazid, used to treat tuberculosis have also been known to cause liver damage.

As a result, several drugs such as Bromfenac, Troglitazone, trovafloxacin have been withdrawn from the market.