ToxTracker is a unique test, based on stem cell technology, which is able to very quickly and reliably identify the main cancer-causing properties of new materials. The substance to be tested is dripped onto the test plate (assay), developed by Toxys. Following this, there is a reaction, and data is collected and interpreted. The test is more sensitive and specific than the tests that are currently available. The Toxys test reduces the percentage of current in vitro false test results from 30% to 3%.
"We obviously see to what extent they are toxic, but what is really unique is that we provide mechanistic insight into the various harmful properties of materials," says Dr. Giel Hendriks, the founder of Toxys. "By understanding how substances react in our cells, we can determine much more reliably if they are possibly carcinogenic or not."
Great benefits for industry
It is of great importance for companies that the materials and ingredients they use have no harmful effects on human health. If new substances or ingredients are to be put into the products, companies want to know as soon as possible whether it is worthwhile to invest further in the development of a substance, or if for health reasons it is not suitable. Significant adverse effects may result if the toxicity only emerges once the product is being used, which may lead to health problems, damage claims, and loss of reputation.
Another advantage of the ToxTracker technique is that fewer test animals are needed. Pharmaceutical and chemical substances with the strongest carcinogenic properties are eliminated, and therefore do not need to be tested on animals.
Investment ZIF & InnovationQuarter
Toxys is using the investment to bring the existing products to the markets, to accelerate the development of new tests, and to move to a private laboratory. "With this investment Toxys can work on new innovative tests and services, and thereby contribute to the development of better drugs and safer products," says Giel Hendriks.
Johan Sebregts, Fund Manager of ZIF: "From the first meeting on, we were impressed with the performance of Toxys. The validated test, the involvement of LUMC and Leiden University, and the fact that there are various reputable clients gave us immediate confidence. This, coupled with new product developments and the growing market for early stage testing, ensures that we have great confidence in the potential of Toxys. Through the investment of ZIF and InnovationQuarter, and the contribution of our knowledge and experience, we want to contribute to the realization of Toxys’s growth."
Toxys is a spin-off from the Department of Human Genetics at Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) and was founded in 2014 by scientist Giel Hendriks.
More information about Toxys.