Biopredic & Edelweiss Connect provide In Vitro training with HepaRG™

Practical training in integrated approaches to testing and assessment 

Theoretical knowledge combined with hands-on experience was the double-offer of a workshop held by Biopredic International and Edelweiss Connect at the latter company’s Basel headquarters on October 29. Making full use of Edelweiss Connect’s new Safety Assessment Laboratory, the workshop offered a solid introduction to combining in silico and in vitro for an integrated approach to testing and assessment. 

The star of the show was Biopredic’s HepaRG™cell line, a promising and relevant in vitro model for the prediction of hepatotoxicity. Biopredic’s Business Development Manager, Dr. Ashwani Sharma opened with an explanation of how HepaRG® cells offer an integrated model for studying bile canalicular dynamics to understand Cholestatic Toxicity. Dr. Tatyana Doktorova, Edelweiss Connect’s Senior Toxicologist, followed with an explanation of how the cells can be used in genotoxicity screening. Loïse Valentin, a PhD student currently working at Biopredic, then walked the audience through the correct protocols for using HepaRG® cells. 

The lectures were followed by hands-on practical sessions, a combination designed to provide participants with exposure to methods, practices and tools supporting goals in risk and safety assessment.

“The interactive workshop format was great because people felt relaxed and free to ask questions of importance to their own work,” explains Dr. Doktorova. “The participants learned about different applications and, at the same time, how to handle the cells starting from scratch. Even just one person, who sees the vision and shows productivity, can have a big impact on their whole company.”

Dr. Doktorova, a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship recipient, leads Edelweiss Connect’s new Safety Assessment Laboratory. “We opened the lab at the beginning of 2018 to extend our offering of in silico solutions with in vitro solutions. The lab is further developing and supporting Edelweiss Connect’s data management solutions, like EdelweissData™, by showing clear examples of how the work should be done. Through the lab, we can demonstrate EdelweissData at work. For example, we show how it allows us to take raw data, upload it directly from machines to the Cloud infrastructure and make the best analysis.”

Edelweiss Connect’s lab has already been involved in several projects, including ToxHQ and the InnoSwiss project executed in collaboration with  Professor Laura Suter-Dick. “The goal is to answer the important scientific question: Can we verify in vivo experiments with in vitro settings? For products to reach the market, they must be tested through experiments that can be reproduced in different partner labs.”

The October workshop was held in conjunction with OpenTox Euro 2019, an annual conference hosted by OpenTox, the leading global open platform for predictive toxicology supported by open standards. OpenTox is a community-led effort sharing common values in the development of interoperability, transparency, and extensibility in the OpenTox framework and its applications.  

The workshop was Edelweiss Connect’s first training collaboration with Biopredic, but Dr. Doktorova expects to do many more. “Biopredic has many clients interested in how the Integrated Approach can be used. In time, we would like to extend the workshop to include good data management practices in the lab, to demonstrate how EdelweissData™ collects, describes and annotates optimally.” 

Please contact us for your suggestions and requests for future training activities, customised private training for small groups can be arranged. You can submit a training request here.

About Edelweiss Connect

Edelweiss Connect has developed computer software that helps combine data from many different sources and formats into a useable form for evaluation and re-use. In addition, we have developed other software programs that can use the collected data and data from in vitro tests to predict the safety of chemical compounds in the human body.

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