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GGA to Curate Data from Pharma Toxicity Project

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Bioinformatics outsourcing firm GGA Software Services will provide data curation services to nine pharmaceutical companies that are involved in a pan-European project to develop in silico tools for predicting drug toxicity.

GGA said today that it will serve as a subcontractor on the eTOX project, which is part of the European Innovative Medicines Initiative, a public-private partnership between the European Union and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA).

Cambridge, Mass.-based GGA will be responsible for curating more than 5,000 legacy toxicity reports that will be included in a joint database.

The pharmaceutical companies that have contracted GGA to curate this data include AstraZeneca; Bayer Pharma; Boehringer Ingelheim; GlaxoSmithKline; H. Lundbeck; Novartis; Sanofi-Aventis; Servier; and UCB Pharma.

"The overall goal of the eTOX Project is to develop in silico predictive systems for organ and in vivo toxicity and thereby help improve the drug development process and reduce animal use, and the project's backbone is the database of preclinical toxicity data that GGA will help us curate," Francois Pognan, eTOX project leader and executive director of biochemical, analytical, and translational safety at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, said in a statement.

The curation effort will include data from systemic toxicity studies and pharmacokinetic and toxicokinetic studies and in vivo safety pharmacology projects.

GGA will receive the archived studies in batches from the pharmaceutical partners over the next three years.

"The eTOX Project emerged from the understanding that the pharmaceutical industry has not used efficiently the wealth of preclinical toxicity data generated in studies, and that a database bringing together curated data from previously unpublished, legacy preclinical toxicity studies would provide the basis for powerful data mining to build predictive tools," Pognan said.

Financial terms of the agreements were not released.