Our Model

Zebrafish is a model organism that provides high-quality data in a fast and cost-effective manner.

ZeClinics understands that the preclinical phase of drug development is critical and expensive; 30% of the cost is spent on this phase.

Developing new drugs costs >€1,000 bn and takes 10-15 years to complete.

Our assays help academic researchers and pharmaceutical companies to save time and money, while obtaining high-quality data in preclinical studies.

With more than 40,000 papers published, the zebrafish model has become an essential tool for discovering new targets and molecules with therapeutic effects.

Fields of development

The advantages of the Zebrafish model have led to considerable advances in the fields of infection, cardiovascular diseases, neural disorders, cancer and other areas including:

model-developmental-biology Developmental biology
model-oncology Oncology
model-toxicology Toxicology
model-teratology Teratology
model-genetics Genetics
model-neurobiology Neurobiology
model-stem-cell-research Stem cell research
model-regenerative-medicine Regenerative medicine
model-evolutionary-theory Evolutionary theory
model-reproductive-studies Reproductive studies
model-environmental-sciences Environmental sciences
ophthalmology icon Ophthalmology

We stand out as the leader zebrafish CRO due to the quality and diversity of services we offer, each led by a scientific team specialized in that field of research.

The 5 main advantages of using zebrafish as a model organism for biomedical research and drug discovery are:
Cost & time efficiency

Stabulation of zebrafish requires less space and is cheaper than mice, because adult zebrafish are smaller and are housed in large groups – up to 70 animals per tank versus only five mice per cage. This is one of the reasons making the zebrafish more affordable than mammal research models. In addition, zebrafish pairs produce hundreds of offspring larvae per mating, providing a huge sample size, when compared to rodents. Moreover, larva size is only 5 mm, allowing the use of multiwell plates for separating experimental samples. Finally, drugs are administered in the swimming water, requiring lower amounts of compounds and reducing enormously the time invested in injecting drugs into rodents. All these features allow testing several conditions (different drugs and concentrations) in parallel and, in overall, shortening the experimental time and cost, if compared with equivalent assays in rodents.

Open Window

Zebrafish larvae are among the most informative, straight-forward and better characterized experimental models. Their optical transparency and ex-utero development, combined with a growing battery of fluorescent tissue-specific transgenic lines, allow direct in vivo visualization of cells, tissues, organs and embryonic development under different chemical and genetic perturbations to perform simultaneous drug safety and efficacy assays.

High experimental throughput

The small size and high number of zebrafish progeny allow parallel and reproducible testing of several drugs and dosages in simple multi-well plates, and make it ideal for high throughput assays. In addition, the large sample size provides strong statistical power.

Translatable readouts

Zebrafish and humans have a high genetic homology, as well as high physiological and functional conservation. More than 70% of human genes have a zebrafish orthologue gene. This percentage goes up to 82% when considering human disease-associated genes. In addition, zebrafish show sensitivity, specificity and accuracy in line with mammalian models. These biological features have positioned the zebrafish as an ideal tool for the study of diseases, biological processes and drug effects. Indeed, it allows us to assess with certainty the role of a gene in the context of disease and the possible toxicity or effects a compound could have when administered to humans.

3Rs compliance

The zebrafish model fulfills the purpose of reducing, refining and replacing the use of experimental animal models. Most of our research is conducted with zebrafish larvae before 5 days post fertilization, meeting the standards set by the European Commission Directive of 2010. The zebrafish model represents a viable alternative that bridges the gap between in vitro and mammal models, and can lead to a reduction of animals used in later research phases.