Cambridge Cell Networks Ltd (CCnet), has announced a collaborative venture with the University of Surrey, UK. Under the agreement, toxicologists at Surrey will be using CCnet's ToxWiz software to assist their research on drug and chemical safety.
ToxWiz is a software solution for predicting toxic endpoints and for elucidating mechanisms of toxicity. It contains a network of more than 2,500 annotated pathways and clusters linking genomics and proteomics data with biochemical pathways and cellular information.
It allows users to understand on- and off- target mechanisms of action of compounds, thus minimizing the number of animal testing wherever possible. It uses novel algorithms to predict toxic end-points. This approach to predictive toxicology offers a new perspective in this field. This prediction techniques are complementary to well -established QSAR based-methods already used for decades
Professor Peter Goldfarb, Director of the University's Centre for Toxicology, commented: "We will be using ToxWiz because of its leading capability to accurately explore the rapidly expanding knowledge base deriving both from prior research in toxicology and from the current systems biology revolution. This will enable us to make earlier predictions about the safety of proposed new therapeutic agents and industrial chemicals”.
Professor Goldfarb added: “Additionally, ToxWiz is designed to predict the possible cellular mechanisms of any indicated toxicity and should help us plan our subsequent experimental work better. This would result in a significant reduction in the use of test animals (an objective to which Surrey has contributed for many years) and also make the testing of such chemicals in man even safer.
CCnet are clearly focused on novel solutions to the challenges facing toxicologists today, not only in terms of developing safe new treatments for diseases such as diabetes and cancer, but also in responding to the EU requirement for the retesting of chemicals to which the public are exposed in their everyday lives. We look forward to a productive collaboration.