In recent years, few methods have changed so dramatically as those used in vitro for drug development. The main areas of progress involve target finding and validation with molecular biology, and in-vitro testing of drug safety to the production of biological molecules. The application of these methods has made all steps of drug development not only faster, but also less costly.

As research in all areas is continuing apace with major efforts, we can expect major breakthroughs with the maturation of human micro-organoid in-vitro cultures in the near future. Clearly, however, because of the increased sophistication and specialization of these investigations, an even greater need for team work is indicated.

Hence, it is mandatory for those of us involved in drug development to keep pace with the continuous progress in methodology, by receiving the experts' overview, as presented in this book.

Frankfurt a. M., July 2006 Prof. Dr. RolfKrebs former Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors of Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH

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