Phases of clinical trials:
Phase 0 Phase 0 is a recent designation for exploratory, first-in-human trials conducted in accordance with the United States Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 2006 Guidance on Exploratory Investigational New Drug (IND) Studies.
Phase 0 trials are also known as human microdosing studies and are designed to speed up the development of promising drugs or imaging agents by establishing very early on whether the drug or agent behaves in human subjects as was expected from preclinical studies.
Distinctive features of Phase 0 trials include the administration of single sub therapeutic doses of the study drug to a small number of subjects (10 to 15) to gather preliminary data on the agent’s pharmacokinetics (how the body processes the drug) and pharmacodynamics (how the drug works in the body).
A Phase 0 study gives no data on safety or efficacy, being by definition a dose too low to cause any therapeutic effect.
Drug development companies carry out Phase 0 studies to rank drug candidates in order to decide which has the best pharmacokinetic parameters in humans to take forward into further development.
They enable go/no-go decisions to be based on relevant human models instead of relying on sometimes inconsistent animal data.