Explaining the ToxHQ Vision
Barry Hardy, CEO, Edelweiss Connect (formerly Douglas Connect)
At the heart of our ToxHQ vision is the goal to create the leading global framework and business ecosystem in safety assessment.
ToxHQ grew out of our leadership of the OpenTox community and the development of ToxBank, a web-based Open Access scientific warehouse for toxicity data management and modelling. We excel in building and supporting global scientific communities. In turn, that commitment keeps Douglas Connect at the front of knowledge that we then bring to our clients. Working closely with our clients and partners, we form talented, motivated and agile working teams to build the solutions needed. We innovate together!
Our clients produce all kinds of products that require health and environmental assessment: pharmaceuticals, consumer products, chemicals, pesticides, biocides, food and related product materials using such advanced materials as obtained from biotechnology or nanotechnology.
One significant challenge to the adoption of new safety assessment solutions (reducing and replacing traditional animal testing) is the regulatory acceptance of new alternative evidence generation methods as developed by ToxHQ. We are participating actively in case study development activities, such as the current Read Across and Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) risk assessment activities of EuToxRisk, jointly led by industry, regulatory representatives such as the European Chemicals Agency (EChA) and OECD, and research institutions. We have also been active leaders in developing the OpenTox framework and community, which is a key contribution to our “common language – best practices” approach and our scientific and business ecosystem model. Collaboration needs interoperability and standards to achieve industrial integration and quality goals. Such activities ensure that the ToxHQ design is closely aligned to emerging industry and regulatory requirements.
ToxHQ engages in interactions with industry, regulators and the research community through an emphasis on clarification of knowledge exchanged in working towards convergence on what is needed. This process requires shared trust and confidence. Together we can then define case studies describing a set of work tasks carrying out a substantial piece of work advancing innovative safety assessment methods. We can also define focused use cases contributing to such case studies against which our methods and knowledge infrastructure are developed.
The future development of ToxHQ will be strongly driven by the requirements of industry partners with an additional strong input from regulatory authorities on use cases satisfying evidence needs, and all progress based on a professional network of existing and developing relationships, where transparency is valued. This combined input should enable the design of applications which will be fit-for-purpose for broad industrial use and satisfy regulatory thinking on emerging practice and information requirements. Consider joining us on this magnificent and exciting journey ahead!