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The achievement of the long-term objective of animal replacement in systemic toxicity testing will ultimately depend on the successful establishment and validation of alternative in vitro cellular systems. In modern toxicology, there is an urgent need for efficient and cost-effective in vitro tools to predict pharmacokinetics and toxic reactions of new compounds at early stage of drug discovery.

Biotransformation occurs mainly in the liver, after which hepatocyte-end products are transported to other organs, such as the brain. We have been working on new tools, with higher predictive power in terms of xenobiotic biotransformation than the currently available ones, using primary cultures of hepatocytes (rat and human origin) and differentiating human embryonic stem cells (hESC) into functional hepatocyte-like cells.

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