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24/01/2017 - General information

Sixteen million euros injected into research on adverse drug reactions

A new European research project has been launched, TransQST (Translational Quantitative Systems Toxicology) funded with 16 million euros, aimed at improving the understanding of adverse effects to drugs and their safety, which will provide innovative methods and software for modelling toxicological systems. Project participants include the Integrative Biomedical Informatics research group at the IMIM (GRIB, IMIM-UPF), coordinated by Laura Furlong and Ferran Sanz.

Adverse reactions to drugs are unwanted side effects and involve significant cost in terms of patient morbidity, mortality and hospitalisation.

TransQST will last five years, and its goal is to develop new computational methods using the best data available from both the public and private spheres to address the problems of safe drug development. It is being funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertakint (IMI 2), a public-private European initiative that aims to accelerate the development of more effective and safer drugs for patients.

The project includes a consortium of 10 academic institutions, three SMEs, and eight pharmaceutical companies. It is being coordinated by the University of Liverpool and led by the pharmaceutical company AbbVie. One of the main project focuses involves the so-called "off-target reactions", those adverse effects that cannot be predicted from the known pharmacological properties of a substance. The organs most affected by this type of reaction are the liver, kidneys, and the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems.

Professor Kevin Park, coordinator of TransQST, explains: "The fear of adverse drug reactions is a major impediment to the development of safe and effective new therapies. This project will allow us to take advantage of the best data available and the experience of both the public and private domains to generate and validate new computational models to help solve the problems of developing safe drugs. Our ultimate goal is to maximise the benefits of medications and minimise their adverse effects.

For further information on TransQT please visit: www.transqst.org.

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