Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Drug Development
Imaging techniques are emerging as important tools in pharmaceutical industry for their role in accelerating drug development, which is a lengthy and costly process with extremely high attrition rate. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), in particular, is of great use in such a context, for its extraordinary capacities in providing anatomical and functional information in a non-invasive manner at high spatial resolution. Employing MRI to phenotype markers, to characterize lesions, to profile disease progression and to monitor therapeutic response has benefited research at different levels, and has set up a link between pre-clinical and clinical drug studies. This article attempts to give a brief summary of the current progress and the future prospects of using MRI to assist the drug development cycle. By the category of disease types, some representative cases are given. Also, the involvement of MRI in some emerging fields, such as cell therapy and multimodality imaging, will be discussed.