05 August 2019
When you try to explain the benefits of an alternative model for research, you run into several problems. One of them, the main one, is the lack of knowledge about the advantages of the model. The second one is that of the security that grants always working in the same way, without changes, which clashes frontally with any novelty. And finally, it is the tremendous investment of time and resources that companies must make in validating the model for endless possibilities.
For the first, zebrafish explains itself. Optical transparency, high progeny in a short time, 72-84% genetic homology, human-like physiology (eyes, cardiovascular system) are just some of the fantastic advantages. There are many more. Check it here.
About the second one, the comfort zone is mighty in research. Although science is probably one of the human disciplines most capable of transforming itself with the new contributions that are generated, change is not ever an easy thing. But the institutions that regulate processes are slow in making decisions, and pharmaceutical companies are too. And to be able to try new alternative models, cheaper in the medium term and just as robust as regulated mammals, a lot of pedagogical effort must be made. And trust the courage of some researchers to take the plunge.
For the last point, the small companies that we have chosen to make zebrafish our business model are the ones that have to bear the weight of validation.
Validation. It seems simple, but it is not at all. It means testing your model, facing it to the strictest trials to show if it is capable of participating in the Drug Discovery race, of finding out if it really is as robust as you think, to determine its ability to explain physiological and molecular events. And the zebrafish has to pass those tests, at least equal to or better than the established canonic models.
But sometimes, something extraordinary happens. The model responds correctly to validation and manages to closely resemble not only the official model but the human itself. And that is what we have achieved in ZeClinics: demonstrating the predictive validity of zebrafish and ZeCardio platform for drug-induced cardiotoxicity early detection! Through our validated platform, it is possible to analyze extraordinary parameters of the cardiac physiology of zebrafish similar to the response in humans, to determine toxicity with fantastic precision.
These are the occasions where one looks back and observes surprised the long road traveled until now. Years of work condensed in an article that fills us with pride and satisfaction.
And this does not end here. We will continue to make enormous efforts to validate the model in other fields where it is simply amazing.
You know, if you have a molecule of interest, better call ZeClinics.