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Consortium Develops Virtual Mouse for Lab Testing

Gerbil (Norlando Pobre/Flickr)Simcyp Ltd. in Sheffield, U.K., a consortium of pharmaceutical and biotech companies and research universities, has created a virtual lab mouse for use in cancer and toxicological research. Simcyp is a spin-off enterprise from Sheffield University that develops modeling and simulation tools for lab testing.

Lab mice are used frequently in the development of new drugs to treat cancer as well as toxicological studies in agrochemicals. This research often involves using mice that have been genetically modified in order to investigate the role that drug metabolizing enzymes and transporters play in the accumulation of drugs in the whole animal or in specific tissues.

Simcyp’s animal simulators are mathematical models that tap into a number of physiological, genetic, and biochemical databases with drug-specific data as a substitute for or complement to lab animals in drug development. Simcyp’s virtual mouse provides an environment to evaluate drug disposition that can replace the need for some live animal testing in normal as well as transgenic mice, thus reducing and refining preclinical studies. The ability to create virtual transgenic mice by adding (knocking-in) or deleting (knocking-out) certain genes, says the company, is a unique feature of this module.

Members of the Simcyp Consortium have automatic access to all of Simcyp’s preclinical models and simulators. Licenses for Simcyp Animal can now also be granted to companies outside of the Consortium.

Read more: EU Approves New Rules for Lab Animals

Photo: Norlando Pobre/Flickr

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