Combining in-vitro models with AI

Before drug candidates are tested on humans, extensive efficacy studies are conducted in animal models. The predictive value of these models often proves limited, causing many drug candidates to drop out during studies with patients. This leads to delays and very high costs. Today, alternatives to animal testing often remain on the shelf because it is unclear how they can be used in practice or because they have not been sufficiently validated as a like-for-like substitute. In order to change this, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), the Dutch Society for the Replacement of Animal Testing (Stichting Proefdiervrij) and Galapagos are continuing to invest in research that combines patient-oriented models with techniques that have already been developed. In-vitro systems mimic the complexity of patients only to a limited extent. That is why these in-vitro systems are combined with clinical data and integrating technologies, such as systems biology, data sciences and artificial intelligence (AI).

Together, these models can provide valuable information on the efficacy of drug candidates before they are tested in humans. Stichting Proefdiervrij, Galapagos B.V., Leiden University and TNO have joined forces with the support of Leiden BioScience Park. The aim of the consortium is twofold: to advance drug development while at the same time conducting research without the use of laboratory animals. This consortium is a continuation of an earlier project, partly consisting of the same partners.