The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), and Molecular Networks GmbH have announced their scientific collaboration and partnership to jointly develop under a 3-years research collaboration agreement (RCA) the Office of Food Safety's food additives knowledge base CERES using Molecular Networks' chemoinformatics platform MOSES.
The Chemical Evaluation and Risk Estimation System (CERES) is a centralized, chemical structure oriented knowledge base, which will establish a sustainable data/information management and storage system to provide decision support for both pre-market and post-market safety assessments for food ingredients and food-contact substances.
Included in CERES is the development of structural alerts, computational toxicology and metabolism prediction models, and threshold of toxicological concern approach to food ingredients.
Dr. Mitchell Cheeseman, Acting Director of FDA's Office of Food Safety, said that "with Molecular Networks and its technology, we have found a partner to streamline many tasks and enhance the Office’s efficiency in ensuring food safety and protecting public health through improved pre-market review workflows, post-market surveillance of food ingredients and food-contact substances and centralized data management".
Prof. Johann Gasteiger, CEO of Molecular Networks, adds that, "we are pleased to collaborate and support the Office of Food Safety in order to provide a knowledge base for assisting their reviewers in their decision making process and are happy that FDA is using our technology. This is an exciting collaboration."
Dr. Chihae Yang of Altamira LLC, a member of the CERES team, recognized the vision of both sides, noting that, "FDA project leaders Drs. Annette McCarthy and Kirk Arvidson, in collaboration with Molecular Networks, have embarked on a journey to develop methods that will become international standards in safety assessment based on publicly available technology."