Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology tests for the presence of therapeutic and illicit substances.

SydPath’s Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology Laboratory provides a comprehensive Therapeutic Drug Monitoring service as well as detection and identification of drugs of abuse. We are also a major referral centre for a number of state and national health care institutes.

We specialise in personalised medicine to ensure drugs are working correctly for our patients. The right dose of a drug is essential to how effective it will be against disease.


Detailed Overview

SydPath offers a bespoke patient-centred treatment involving a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, clinical scientists, pharmacists, pathologists and nurses. Therapeutic drug monitoring or TDM for short, is a critical component of precision medicine and plays a vital role in patient safety in a number of ways. This includes minimising toxicity, which reduces the number of expensive and invasive diagnostic tests required, optimising drug efficacy and shortening the length of hospital stay. In addition, significant cost savings from dose reduction without loss of efficacy can be achieved.

TDM laboratories differ significantly from a routine clinical laboratories in their analytical approach. Pathology service laboratories are predominantly automated and use readily available commercial kits; however, the majority of specialised TDM labs requires a manual approach.  All bioanalytical methods are developed in-house using highly specialised mass spectrometry technology which is considered a gold standard approach for measuring the concentration of drugs.

Effective TDM ultimately ensures optimal drug dose, leading to successful patient treatments and outcomes. Therefore, TDM is recommended for drugs that exhibit a narrow therapeutic range, significant inter-individual variability, or a known relationship between drug concentration and toxicity and/or therapeutic effect.

SydPath’s clinical pharmacology laboratory invested $2.5 million in new Mass Spectrometry equipment at the end of 2019, as part of an ongoing drive to position itself as a Centre of Excellence in precision medicine. The new instruments offer the most sensitive MS technology designed for small molecule work, equipped with multi-component IonDrive technology, consisting of advancements in ion production, ion transmission and ion detection. As a result, the instruments deliver improvements in sensitivity, robustness, and increased dynamic range for demanding assays. This enables scientists in the clinical pharmacology laboratory to further enable innovative scientific methodologies, specifically around alternative sampling strategies (microsampling) and techniques requiring limited sample volumes.

We can deliver TDM beyond St Vincent’s clinical applications by utilising superior instrument specificity, improved sensitivity, and higher throughput. We now service national and international clinical trials as more organisations recognise the value of this highly specialised equipment and our scientific expertise. Paired with an energetic clinical team at St Vincent’s Hospital, the Clinical Pharmacology therapeutic drug monitoring laboratory delivers an efficient, quality service in Australia and beyond. Many thousands of patients have benefited from the proficiency of our service, and we are passionate about using our skills to improve patient outcomes.

Meet our Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology here