CXR Biosciences Ltd, the leading provider of innovative drug safety solutions, today announced they will be joining with other partners in a five year joint research and development project which is now entering negotiations to receive funding within the Health Programme of the European Commission’s 7th RTD Framework Programme. The project will address the unmet need for test methods for predicting toxicity of drugs, chemicals, and cosmetic ingredients. CXR is one of 14 industrial and academic partners in the project which is coordinated by Inserm, the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research. Following successful negotiations, The “ScreenTox”-project will be funded as part of a research cluster comprising 7 consortia with an overall budget of EUR 50 million, through a unique joint effort, of the European Commission and the European Cosmetic Association (COLIPA).
Of local interest to Scotland, one of the other partners in the project is the stem cell company Cellartis who have operations in Gothenburg, Sweden and Dundee, Scotland.
In the development of products for use by humans it is vital to identify compounds with toxic properties at an early stage of their development, in order to avoid spending time and resource on unsuitable and potentially unsafe candidate products. Human pluripotent stem cells offer an unparalleled opportunity to create a wide variety of human cell-based test systems because these cells may be expanded indefinitely and triggered to differentiate into any cell type. The “ScreenTox”-project aims at making use of these two attributes in order to optimise current processes and develop novel methods to achieve functional differentiation of human-based target cells in vitro.
Marc Peschanski, coordinator of the network, underscores the major paradigm shift in predictive toxicology that pluripotent stem cells will permit in the coming years: “Evaluation of toxicants calls for new models that will allow assessing toxicity pathway responses in vitro. Derivatives of pluripotent stem cell lines are likely the best candidates to implement this new strategy, as most relevant and reliable model systems that can also be robust and scalable in order to meet the challenges of industrial-scale screens.”
Tom Shepherd, the then Chief Executive of CXR Biosciences said, “Stem cells have great potential as a tool to assess the safety risk to humans of new products and to refine, reduce or replace the use of laboratory animals. However, converting the theory into practice will require a unique combination of world leading scientific and industrial expertise from different fields, combined with significant financial investment in research. This major European project brings all of these pieces together for the first time.”
CXR Biosciences Enquiries:
Mr Paul Smith
Tel: (+44) (0)1382 432163
About CXR Biosciences
CXR Biosciences Ltd. is commercialising innovative approaches to transform the drug development and chemical safety assessment process. As well as developing proprietary technology platforms such as stem cells, CXR also helps customers to take their candidate compounds through development efficiently, or to resolve problems that have been encountered, through the provision of customised solutions. The company has business relationships with many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, chemical companies, biotechnology companies, universities and research institutions. CXR Biosciences Ltd. is located in Dundee, Scotland, UK.
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