Pharma-supported pilot towards neurotox model
Mimetas partnership receives pharma-supported funding for neurotox proof-of-concept study
Before approval for use, chemicals and pharmaceuticals must be tested to predict the likelihood that they will cause toxicity to the nervous system. Owing to the complexity of the human central nervous system, predicting neurotoxicity can be difficult. At present animal research is often used to determine neurotoxic effects, but research indicates that a human tissue approach carried out in vitro might more closely model neurotoxicity in humans. MIMETAS, in collaboration with Dr. Remco Westerink of the Institute for Risk Assessment Studies of the University of Utrecht (NL) will develop 3D cell cultures for human-relevant in vitro approaches to screening for neurotoxicity and seizure likelihood. Not only could these approaches be more predictive of the human response, they could also replace a significant number of animals currently used in this research area.
The research is funded by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs). NC3Rs leads the discovery and application of new technologies and approaches to minimise the use of animals and improve animal welfare (the 3Rs). It funds research, supports training and development, and stimulates changes in regulations and practice. Primarily funded by Government, the NC3Rs is also supported by the charitable and private sectors. It works with scientists in universities and industry in the UK and internationally. Further information can be found at: www.nc3rs.org.uk.