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Researchers from major pharmaceuticals, Swiss-based computational biology firm Genedata and European Commission (EC) representatives met recently in Dublin for the Second General Assembly of InnoMed PredTox consortium. InnoMed PredTox is a joint Industry, Academic and EC collaboration to improve drug safety testing.

Tasked with exploring the molecular basis of drug-side effects, InnoMed PredTox is an ambitious project involving leading European pharmaceutical companies, academic research institutes and Genedata.

The gathering in Dublin met for an update on general progress over the last nine months and to discuss the consortium’s newly launched central data sharing portal. Biomolecular data from more than 20 laboratories is fed into a joint database, which is based on Genedata’s Expressionist platform.

Researchers use the portal via a secure Internet connection and have begun to share data and experimental design information. “The portal is critical for the management of the project’s progress”, said Dr. Laura Suter-Dick, Section Head for New Technologies in Safety, Roche.

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Progress has been rapid, especially considering that the project involves cooperation between 20 independent research organizations. Earlier this year, members of the consortium met for an intensive planning session at Genedata’s headquarters in Basel. They agreed on critical design aspects of the database and on a sophisticated data analysis plan.

The InnoMed PredTox collaboration with Genedata is laying the foundation for toxicology to exploit genome-wide biological data in drug development. Genechip microarrays, 2D-gel and mass spectromerty experimental data is combined with conventional toxicology findings and clinical chemistry data. “Genedata is proud of the central place it occupies in InnoMed’s computational activities”, explained Dr. Othmar Pfannes, CEO of Genedata.

The InnoMed PredTox Second General Assembly was hosted by the Conway Institute (UCD), Dublin, Ireland, October 10th-11th, 2006. The InnoMed PredTox project is supported by partial funding under the Sixt Research Framework Programme of the European Union (LSHB-CT-2005-518170).

tobe freeman | alfa
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