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ToxPHACTS to increase the safety of new drugs


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Univ-. Prof. Dr. Gerhard F. Ecker
Universität Wien
E: gerhard.f.ecker@univie.ac.at

We are developing ToxPHACTS, a data-driven software to increase the safety of new drugs. ToxPHACTS will replace the manual toxicological read-across in the early-stage drug development process, and will thus not only save time and money, but also significantly reduce the number of necessary animal experiments.


Phenaris Softwareentwicklungs- und consulting GmbH

Development of a new drug currently takes 10 years with costs of around € 2 bio. Main reasons for failures comprise lack of efficacy and unforeseen toxicity. For the latter, a standard process pursued to minimise the risk is the so-called toxicological read across. Briefly, toxicologists query the available literature and databases for compounds, which are structurally similar to their development candidate in order to retrieve information on potential hazards. In our large-scale collaborative industry-academia EU-projects, which aim at the development of computational approaches for toxicity prediction, we realised that this is done by manual searches. This is time consuming and prone to errors such as overlooking safety alerts.

With ToxPHACTS we integrate our expertise in computational toxicology and semantic data integration to offer an expert system which will help pharmaceutical companies to foresee possible toxicity of new development candidates. In contrast to the current process for toxicological read across, ToxPHACTS

  • uses innovative ways of similarity searching, such as bioisosteric similarity
  • allows complex queries across multiple, semantically integrated data sources
  • provides advanced visualisation tools for rapid and easy analysis of read across search results

With its cutting-edge search and analysis tools, ToxPHACTS will help to save time, to save money and to significantly reduce the number of necessary animal experiments.

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