This is something we all worry about when taking drugs as the liver is the organ that usually stands the chance of being damaged and it is the most common cause of liver failure in the US, so yes we want to know what drugs are potentially toxic, whether in dose or over extended use.  image

If you call alcohol a drug, well we all know that long term use damages the liver and some drugs are capable of doing the same.  The study is to also examine existing research and look at herbs and other potential area of danger.  AstraZeneca is of course donating financial support here and drug companies too would like to know which ones can or are more toxic than others and at what levels. 

No too long ago the FDA released an update with a focus on genetic information on drug-induced liver injury and serious skin reactions.  BD 

Press Release:

BETHESDA, MD—May 26, 2010--A new public-private partnership between AstraZeneca and NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) will focus on supporting the work of the Drug Induced Liver Injury Network (DILIN). DILIN is a group working to bring together essential scientific and financial resources to better understand drug-induce liver injury as well as effective screening, diagnostic and treatment options.
Drug-induced liver injury, whether caused by prescription or non-prescription medication, is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States. It is the major reason for non-approval, withdrawal and limiting the prescribing of medications by the Food and Drug Administration.
Under the terms of the partnership, AstraZeneca will join other companies to provide funding for the project. AstraZeneca will also have a seat on a DILI scientific board, a group convened by FNIH that includes representatives of all the partners in this endeavor, to provide expertise and input on scientific and technical matters. No details of the financial support were disclosed.
“AstraZeneca is keen to support this important project to help the industry and the medical community better understand and mitigate the risks of liver damage associated with the use of some medicines,” said Joachim Forsgren, VP and Global Head of Patient Safety at AstraZeneca. “The safety of patients who need drugs to treat many different kinds of conditions and illnesses is paramount in both developing new medicines and safely and effectively using products currently on the market. We want to play our part in furthering this critical work, which will provide valuable insight to all those engaged in the research and development of drugs.”
“We welcome the support of AstraZeneca’s underlying commitment to work with the Foundation for NIH, and NIH, as we pursue advances in research and potential treatment options for drug-induced liver injury. Bringing together a team of experts in a collaborative environment is essential to this project’s overall success,” said Foundation for NIH Chairman, Charles A. Sanders, M.D.
NIDDK launched the Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network in 2004 to address this increasingly frequent health problem, The network gathers clinical information and biological specimens in cases of suspected liver injury due to drug and/or herbal remedy use and promotes research on the underlying causes, means of prevention, and approaches to management and therapy.
Since 2004, the network has characterized more than 700 cases of drug-induced liver injury and collected comprehensive clinical, laboratory and imaging data through its eight partner clinical centers. It has also developed a standardized means of assessing drug-induced liver injury.
The eight clinical centers in the DILIN Network are: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Indiana University, University of Michigan, University of Texas Southwestern, University of Southern California/University of California Los Angeles, Mayo Clinic, Thomas Jefferson University/University of Pennsylvania and California Pacific Medical Center
Foundation for NIH
Established by the United States Congress to support the mission of the NIH—improving health through scientific discovery in the search for cures—the Foundation for NIH is a leader in identifying and addressing complex scientific and health issues. The foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation, which raises private-sector funds for a broad portfolio of unique programs that complement and enhance NIH priorities and activities. For additional information about the Foundation for NIH, please visit
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) conducts and supports basic and clinical research and research training on some of the most common, severe and disabling conditions affecting Americans. The Institute's research interests include diabetes and other endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutrition, and obesity; and kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases. For more information, please visit
Additional details on DILIN are available at the project website,
About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines. As a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease medicines, AstraZeneca generated global revenues of US $32.8 billion in 2009. For more information, please visit:


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