6 Things You Need to Know about Diane Longo

Authors: Longo DM
Division: DILIsym Services

Senior Scientist, Diane Longo, works on the development and application of QSP/QST models for DILIsym, NAFLDsym, and IPFsym software platforms. Representing multiple exemplar compounds as well as proprietary compounds in DILIsym. She is currently focused on the representation of fibrosis using NAFLDsym and IPFsym.

While talking to her about the exciting trend in drug development – regulators increasingly endorsing the value of using modeling and simulation in the drug development process, we discovered she once served ice cream to Alec Baldwin and more!

1. What projects are you currently working on?

One of the projects I’m working on involves representing the pathophysiology of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) in our QSP platform IPFsym and simulating standards of care and novel treatments to assess potential efficacy in IPF patients.

I’m working on another project where we are utilizing NAFLDsym to assess potential efficacy for novel treatments for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients and also leading a project that is utilizing DILIsym to assess potential drug-drug interactions (DDIs) that may lead to hepatotoxicity.

2. What is the best thing about your job?

The team of people I work with.  My colleagues have diverse skill sets, and I learn so much by working with them.  Everyone in our group is extremely approachable, and all have a good sense of humor, which makes working with them even more enjoyable!

3. What sets DILIsym apart from other companies?

DILIsym Services has demonstrated the utility of modeling and simulation to support internal decision-making and regulatory discussions in the realm of drug-induced liver injury (DILI) with our flagship QST platform, DILIsym.

We can leverage this expertise to develop additional QSP/QST platforms to support drug development in therapeutic areas such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

4. What has been one of your proudest moments working at DILIsym?

I saw DILIsym software use, cited by the FDA for Pexidartinib, one of the compounds I helped assess.  This project is one of several which have demonstrated that DILIsym liver safety predictions can be valuable in FDA interactions.  >>> Read more about Pexidartinib & the FDA here

5. What inspires you?

The human body is complex and fascinating, and it is rewarding too; little by little, we begin to understand how the body functions in health and disease states.  Modeling and simulation can help to accelerate our understanding of physiological and pathophysiological processes.  It is inspiring to play a role in impacting patients’ lives by using this approach to support the development of safe and effective treatments.

6. What would you say to companies who are still cautious about using modeling/simulation in their research?

Modeling and simulation can drastically improve the efficiency of the drug development process by leveraging existing data.  For example, simulations can assess potential targets, select safe and efficacious doses, and design more efficient trials.  Companies that utilize modeling and simulation tools will likely be more successful in bringing new drugs to patients in need.

When Diane takes a break from model-building, she can be found on a nature trail hiking; an avid    pre-COVID traveler, she has now taken up drawing. Next month you can hear Diane with her colleagues Scott Q. Siler and Grant Generaux presenting their webinar, “QSP Modeling of Fibrosis in Liver, Lung, and Heart,” on Thursday, January 21st, 2021.

Webinar Registration: https://www.simulations-plus.com/calendar-event/webinar-qsp-modeling-of-fibrosis-in-liver-lung-and-heart/