Pre-clinical development is a stage of research that begins before clinical trials (testing in humans) can begin, and during which important feasibility, iterative testing and safety (also known as Good Laboratory Practice or "GLP") data is collected.
The main goals of pre-clinical studies (also named 'preclinical studies' and 'nonclinical studies') are to determine a product's ultimate safety profile. Products may include new or iterated or like-kind medical devices, drugs, gene therapy solutions, etc. Each class of product may undergo different types of preclinical research. For instance, drugs may undergo pharmacodynamics (PD), pharmacokinetics (PK), ADME, and toxicity testing through animal testing. 

Source: Wikipedia

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