Background There is a substantial discrepancy between in vitro and in vivo experiments. The purpose of the present work was development of a theoretical framework to enable improved prediction of in vivo response from in vitro bioassay results. Results For dose-response curve reaches a plateau in vitro we demonstrated that the in vivo response has only one maximum. For biphasic patterns of biological response in vitro both the bimodal and biphasic in vivo responses might be observed. Conclusion As the main result of this work we have demonstrated that in vivo responses might be predicted from dose-effect curves measured in vitro.