ZeTox – Toxicology Services

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ZeTox: Safety first

The ZeTox platform includes a battery of in vivo toxicity testing services. Using zebrafish at different developmental stages, we conduct high throughput safety screenings of novel drugs and chemicals with potential human or environmental risk.

Safety studies using mammalian models are expensive and long-lasting, and according to meta-analyses, they predict only about 50% of specific toxic effects in humans. An integrative approach using alternative model systems such as zebrafish through early safety evaluation can improve prediction of human outcomes while significantly reducing time, cost and use of mammals in toxicity screenings.

Why use zebrafish?

Zebrafish have proven valuable for predicting chemical substance toxicity, both in the drug discovery and ecotoxicology sectors. For companies seeking to test acute toxicity and teratogenicity, assays in larval zebrafish provide predictive answers within a short time.

Homology & conservation

Studies have confirmed that mammalian and zebrafish toxicity profiles are strikingly similar. Additionally, most zebrafish organs perform the same functions as their human counterparts, consist of the same cell types, and exhibit well-conserved physiology. Humans and zebrafish also have high genetic homology, sharing 82% of human disease-causing genes. These features make them a useful system to study the basic mechanisms of organ-specific diseases, such as heart, liver or neurological disorders.

Cost & time efficiency

Zebrafish are small, have large progenies and develop rapidly. All of their major organ systems become fully formed during the early larval stages, making it a recognized standard model to assess organ toxicity.

Our offerings

General Toxicity Assays

Every molecule safety study will be initiated by testing its acute toxicology to determine lethal concentration 50 (LC50) and the ability of the molecule to produce lethal phenotypes. Potential teratogenic effects of the compound during embryonic development can also be assessed (DevTox), as well as sub-lethal effects observed in juvenile life-stage zebrafish (Early-life stage toxicity). Chemicals can also be interrogated about their potential impact on sexual function and fertility (ReproductionTox) and endocrine disruption; both are aspects of great relevance  to the field of environmental toxicology.

See more details of our general toxicity testing offerings:

Organ-specific Toxicity Assays

To further characterize the general safety profile of the molecule, we can test its potential organ-specific toxicity: liver (HepatoTox), heart (CardioTox), central nervous system (NeuroTox), and hearing system (OtoTox). We also offer a combined option to analyze cardio-, neuro-, and hepatotoxicity in a single sequential procedure (ZeGlobalTox).

Our organ-specific toxicity testing services include:

References

  1. Tralau T, Riebeling C, Pirow R, Oelgeschläger M, Seiler A, Liebsch M, Luch A. Wind of change challenges toxicological regulators. Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Nov;120(11):1489-94.
  2. Hartung T. Toxicology for the twenty-first century. Nature. 2009 Jul 9;460(7252):208-12.
  3. Olson H, Betton G, Robinson D, Thomas K, Monro A, Kolaja G, Lilly P, Sanders J, Sipes G, Bracken W, Dorato M, Van Deun K, Smith P, Berger B, Heller A. Concordance of the toxicity of pharmaceuticals in humans and in animals. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2000 Aug;32(1):56-67.