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ZeGlobalTox - multi-organ toxicity testing in zebrafish

ZeGlobalTox is an innovative safety test able to reduce the number of used animals, experimental time and R&D costs during drug discovery.

Start – End dates: 01/06/2015 – 30/06/2017

Project reference: CRACK IT

Total budget: 30,000£

Funding agency: NC3RS, UK

¨With the support from ACCIÓ; program Nulcis De Recerca Industrial, project reference RD15-1-0114¨

Partners: Noldus & Pivot Parc Screening Center

Summary:

ZeGlobalTox is an innovative safety test able to reduce the number of used animals, experimental time and R&D costs during drug discovery. The core of the idea is to extract reproducible results on general toxicology, teratogenicity, cardio-, neuro- and hepato- toxicity from microscope images of zebrafish embryos and to automatize the entire process of treatment, image acquisition and analysis. As a brief conclusion, a traditional single-organ test was conducted on average in a group of 20 zebrafish larvae per tested drug, which sum to a total of 60 animals/drug to test the toxicity in the brain, liver and heart. In the optimized ZeGlobalTox, the number of zebrafish larvae to test the 3 organs toxicity has been 20. This number Reduces 66% the used animals. The optimization of multiple physiological parameters included in ZeGlobalTox, either by using ZeCardio ® software or adapting already available technologies, such as DanioVision TM from Noldus, will contribute to improve the use of zebrafish for toxicology analysis, therefore, impacting in the Refinement of animal use. Moreover, ZeGlobalTox has shown a strong predictive validity (Specificity: 85% and Sensitivity: 76%) in the identification of toxic and non-toxic drugs for humans and allowed the integration of three separated assays in one, which will allow to scale up ZeClinics productive capacity (number of new drugs to be tested per month) at least 3Xallowing our organ-specific toxicity tests to be marketed with a cheaper price than the sum of the three separated organ-toxicity assays. Therefore, we can offer our clients a cheap and predictive drug toxicity analysis of novel potential medicines, making more attractive the Replacement of mammal models by zebrafish.

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