Collaboration tackles respiratory irritancy hazard

SenzaGen and AstraZeneca will develop a new genomic signature to distinguish allergens from irritants in the respiratory tract

Swedish in vitro testing company, SenzaGen, has signed a collaboration agreement with the global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

The collaboration focuses on testing and development of SenzaGen's sensitisation test GARDair, to distinguish between allergens and irritants in the respiratory tract.

The goal is the validation of in vitro toxicological tests that could be applied to the discovery of new treatments for respiratory diseases without respiratory tract irritancy as a side effect.

We aim to investigate whether drug-like molecules induce similar genomic signatures as known respiratory irritants.

The collaboration means that SenzaGen will use its technology platform GARD, with the help of AstraZeneca's substance libraries, to develop a new genomic signature.

This signature will distinguish allergens from irritants in the respiratory tract, something which is not currently possible with in vitro methods.

GARD examines and finds allergens in chemicals and medicines through a unique technology in accordance with the international 3Rs principle, Reduce, Replace and Refine, as an alternative to animal testing.

“During our research and drug discovery activities, it is important to be able to identify and mitigate potential toxicological issues as early as possible, to ensure our novel candidate drugs have the right safety profile for patients,” said Jorrit Hornberg, Director of Discovery Safety at AstraZeneca Gothenburg.

“This requires in vitro toxicological methods that are properly validated for their predictability of clinical toxicity and that are compatible with integration into the drug discovery process.”

“By combining SenzaGen’s technological expertise and our experience with inhaled compounds, we aim to develop a method to investigate whether drug-like molecules induce similar genomic signatures as known respiratory irritants.”

“That could ultimately be applied to steer away from a potential irritancy hazard and enable the discovery of safer drugs for patients.”

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