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Newsletter #3 -  August 2020

Welcome

We are delighted to present the third issue
of the eTRANSAFE newsletter!

The eTRANSAFE project will improve the efficiency
of translational safety assessment

Editorial

By Thomas Steger-Hartmann, Bayer
Member of the eTRANSAFE Executive Committee

Dear friends and colleagues.

After nearly three years of intense work, the eTRANSAFE ship is advancing towards its last 24 months at sea. The project has faced and successfully overcome several challenges in this period, to which we can add the recent corona virus pandemic that has shook our lives in these past few months. The global race for COVID-19 treatments and vaccines has reminded us of the importance of investing in robust research and innovation initiatives to achieve better and faster therapies, and it has also proven the necessity of collaborative efforts required between countries and supranational organizations, as well as in the public and private arenas, to reach these common goals.  

During this time, the eTRANSAFE consortium has reached its equator at the end of February, which was marked by a successful completion of the Mid-term Review held in Brussels in early March. The reviewers complimented the project progress and the innovations developed and we are proud to record that some of the presented achievements have been recently chosen by the European Commission´s Innovation Radar and included in the EU-funded innovations platform in July. 

Two Consortium Meetings have also taken place this year. The 8th CM, centred on the preparation of the Mid-Term review, was organized in Barcelona in late February, gathering the whole consortium to our last face-to-face assembly for the time being. Despite impressive efforts and progress, we also had to learn over the recent months that the integration of the different tools and assets we had developed over the past two and a half year still poses a tremendous challenge if we want to achieve a functional, user-friendly and sustainable Tox-Hub.

While the 9th CM was held in an entirely virtual format in early June, we were successful in analysing the major technical hurdles which might impede integration activities and in devising plans how to overcome them in the next couple of months.

As of summer 2020, roughly two years remain until the project end. The next key step will be the deployment and the testing phase of the first system prototype, which will get us closer to our final objective of supporting and improving drug discovery and development. 

We wish you all a great end of summer and beginning of autumn and that you stay connected to the eTRANSAFE news.
 

Latest News

eTRANSAFE innovations included in the European Commission’s Innovation Radar platform


The Innovation Radar, a European Commission initiative to identify high potential innovations and innovators in EU-funded research and innovation framework programmes, has selected three innovations of the eTRANSAFE project to be included on the Innovation Radar platform.
 
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Virtual Control Groups – An exciting approach to reduce animal use in toxicity studies through data sharing


Another project innovation is being carried out in the field of reducing the use of laboratory animals in research. Through the Virtual Control Group concept, eTRANSAFE is contributing to reinforce the three Rs policy to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in research. This novel concept could help to replace up to 25% of the animals currently used in toxicity studies by means of data sharing. The concept was published in ALTEX in early 2020.
 
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Webinars on Model Validation and data FAIRification organized by eTRANSAFE members


The project members have been active organizing instructive webinars in the first half of 2020. 

A Model Validation Webinar was held on May 26th to present and assess the proposed model validation guidelines for eTRANSAFE models. Topics discussed included the concept of model validation, model verification process in eTRANSAFE, as well as key roles and important documentation in a validation process and examples of such processes.

The FAIRplus eTOX FAIRification Experience Webinar was co-hosted by eTRANSAFE and the FAIRplus project on June 15th. The aim of the webinar was to present the learnings accumulated by FAIRplus in the FAIRification process performed on the public sample dataset of the eTOX project. Advantages provided by availability of FAIRer data, together with the difficulties experienced by FAIRplus throughout the process, were among the main topics of discussion.
 
See other eTRANSAFE events

Meet the Team

Interview with Giulia Callegaro

 
Giulia Callegaro, Researcher at Leiden University, expects that eTRANSAFE will potentially represent a source of high quality data that could help in tackling the problems of the future.
Read more

Interview with Nils Oberhauser


Nils Oberhauser, Researcher at Novartis, hopes that eTRANSAFE convinces other companies of the value of shared data and inspires them to participate in similar projects.
Read more

Upcoming events

eTRANSAFE 10th Consortium Meeting
21-22 October 2020 | Virtual
Eleventh American Conference on Pharmacometrics (ACoP2020)
4-7 October 2020 | Virtual
19th International Conference on Global Toxicology and Risk Assessment
5-6 November 2020 | Virtual
GRx+Biosims 2020
9-11 November 2020 | Virtual

Publications

Introducing the Concept of Virtual Control Groups into Preclinical Toxicology Testing. Steger-Hartmann T, Kreuchwig A, Vaas L, Wichard J, Bringezu F, Amberg A, Muster W, Pognan F, Barber C. ALTEX. 2020. 37(3):343-349
Read more
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This project has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 777365. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA.

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