More efficient drug development using patient driven, animal-free methods

Thursday, 25 April

TNO, hDMT partner, has started a unique collaboration with Stichting Proefdiervrij and the biopharmaceutical company Galapagos. This initiative investigates whether it is possible to make the development of medicines more efficient and at the same time use fewer laboratory animals, by cleverly linking different technologies.

The initiative has been approved by the Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) and contributes to the ambition of the Dutch government to be a leader in the field of non-animal innovations by 2025.

Before candidate drugs are tested in humans, extensive research on their efficacy is done in (animal) models. The predictive value of these models often turns out to be limited, resulting in a loss of many drug candidates during studies with patients. This leads to delays and very high costs.

As alternative, a new model is being developed to replace a specific animal model. These alternatives often remain on the shelf because it is unclear how they can be used in practice or because they have not been sufficiently validated as a one-to-one replacement.

To change this, TNO, Stichting Proefdiervrij and Galapagos will invest into smart integration of patient-oriented models and techniques that have already been developed. Together, these models can provide valuable information about the efficacy of candidate drugs before they are tested in humans. Examples include in vitro techniques such as Organ-on-Chip, computer simulations, system biology and big data analyses.

Research will start into fibrosis, a condition in which bodily functions diminish as a result of scarring. At a later stage, models for other diseases and disorders will also be mapped out.

Photo credit: Galapagos.

Project description Patient-driven approach for drug development
TNO news release (In Dutch): Efficiënter geneesmiddelenontwikkeling én minder dierproeven: de uitdaging!

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