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EU-ToxRisk: New Strategies in Mechanism-Based Toxicity Testing and Risk Assessment in the 21st Century

A new collaborative project under the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 initiative has just been announced. Starting in January 2016, EU-ToxRisk will be a six year project. Companies and organisations of all sizes across many industries throughout Europe will collaborate with the goal of creating new standards in toxicology assessment. At the core of this broad and complex undertaking is the drive to reduce and ultimately end the reliance on animal-based models for toxicology testing. In addition to the ethical implications of in vivo testing, these methods are costly and often fail to provide an accurate reflection of human toxic response, so the push to eliminate these practices is three-fold.

The consortium consists of 39 organisations representing academia, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large industry, contract research organisations (CROs) and regulatory bodies. Together these groups will develop integrated methods for chemical safety assessment that provide mechanistic understanding of human toxicological response without animal testing. Bob van de Water of Leiden University is coordinating the EU-ToxRisk consortium with the intention of becoming the standard bearer in European animal-free chemical hazard and risk assessment.

The diversity of participating organisations provides a broad spectrum of approaches that include cell and systems biology, computational modelling, and omics technologies that will be integrated to provide insight into chemical safety and will include repeated-dose systemic toxicity and developmental and reproductive toxicity. This proof-of-concept work will lay the foundation for new mechanism-based testing strategies that define future regulatory framework to meet industrial standards and practices.

Cyprotex is delighted to be a member of this effort and will play a major role in the delivery of the ADME data to the consortium and will also be involved in validation of some of the newly developed toxicity models. Chief Executive Officer Dr. Anthony Baxter remarked, “Since Day 1 the mission of Cyprotex has been to use in silico and in vitro methods that provide our clients with data that recapitulates human results without relying on animal methods. We are delighted to contribute to this critical effort.”

The full press release can be viewed here.