Optivia, FDA collaborate to identify potentially harmful drug-dietary supplement interactions

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Optivia Biotechnology on Tuesday announced that the company and the Food and Drug Administration have signed a collaboration agreement to assess the effect of dietary supplements on key drug transporters.

Drug transporters are proteins on the surface of cells that either facilitate or hinder the transport of nutrients or pharmaceuticals. Drug transporters can increase or decrease the absorption of drugs into the body, as well as limit or facilitate the exposure of certain organs.

The goal of the Optivia-FDA collaboration is to identify potentially harmful drug-dietary supplement interactions, such as an interaction with acetaminophen and other drugs associated with liver toxicity, the company stated.

Drug-induced liver toxicity is estimated to be responsible for as many as 5% of all hospital admissions and 50% of all acute liver failures. It is well-established that transporters greatly influence the disposition by the liver of a number of commonly used drugs (e.g., antibiotics, statins and hypoglycemic agents) and others that subsequently were removed from the market (e.g., the antidepressant nefazodone).

The research collaboration will assess the ability of dietary supplements, including black cohosh, green tea, gingko biloba, kava, usnic acid and potentially others, to affect various drug transporters. As a starting point, the seven transporters cited by the International Transporter Consortium and the FDA as the most clinically relevant to transporter-related drug-drug interactions will be examined.

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