BD.20.001 – The Virtual Human Platform for Safety Assessment

Route: Creating Value through responsible access to and use of big data

Cluster question: 101 Can we model the human body and use smart technologies for health, nutritional, and toxicity research, drastically reducing the use of laboratory animals at the same time?

Assessment of the safety of chemicals and pharmaceuticals is traditionally based on animal testing. This animal-based approach is ethically debated and does not adequately predict human health effects. Recent technological developments in human tissue cultures and data science offer exciting perspectives for animal-free testing. This project will develop the world’s first Virtual Human Platform for Safety Assessment, a new approach to assessing safety based on human biology and physiology. Using smart algorithms and computational models, the Virtual Human Platform will integrate existing and newly developed data(bases) from human studies, advanced in vitro models and human disease models. The Platform will enable the prediction of potential harmful effects of chemicals and pharmaceuticals and focus on scenarios that are not included in the current animal-based approach, including the role of gender, age and disease states. The project is a collaboration between experienced partners in different scientific disciplines, from academia, regulatory agencies and industry. By building a Platform that is sustainable, flexible, modular and continuously growing and learning, we will make the first steps towards safety assessment decision-making that is fully based on human data. The Virtual Human Platform is the crucial catalyser to drive innovation in animal-free safety assessment and human research. With the Virtual Human Platform, we will create the logical bridge across existing and future research resources and communities relevant to chemical and pharmaceutical safety assessment for the human body and personal health.



Other organisations

Erasmus Medical Center (EMC), Hogeschool Utrecht, Leiden University (LEI), Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (RIVM), TNO, Universiteit Maastricht (UM), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), Wageningen Universities and Research (WUR)


Organisation Universiteit Utrecht (UU)
Name J. (Juliette) Legler