“I’ve spent the last 15 plus years developing a human in vitro platform using human primary cells to model different aspects of tissue biology, and successfully discovered a number of novel mechanisms of toxicity that we have used and developed as commercial assays, and are helping people in drug discovery select safer molecules,” says Dr. Ellen Berg. She’s the founder of Alto Predict, a data science company devoted to promoting the adoption of non-animal alternatives for product safety testing.
What are some examples of these non-animal alternatives to product testing? Human in vitro organoids, organs-on-chips, and stem-cell based assays—microphysiological systems that when used as models for drug testing can more accurately reflect the effects that a substance will have in the human body than non-human animal models.
So, why haven’t these technologies already been adopted? Dr. Berg gives many reasons for the slow-to-adopt mindset of product manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies, one of which simply comes down to a lack of or access to validation and predictive data of these assays. But the current situation in animal testing isn’t much better—in fact it’s arguably worse, considering that much of in vitro animal data is kept within silos in the pharmaceutical industry, thus keeping hidden the lack of predictivity of animal testing.
The Alto Predict platform will provide easily accessible integrated validation data, specialized analytics, and data visualization tools in order to simplify the process of adoption for the benefit of humans and animals alike. Press play for a detailed description of how it will work, the challenges that need to be overcome, and the successes they’ve already seen.
The team at Alto Predict is currently working on the beta version of the platform and several in vitro assays relevant to cardiovascular toxicity. Learn more by visiting altopredict.com.