Drug-Induced Liver Injury (DILI) Toxicology Innovative Pilot Grants
Closing Date: 31/10/2023
Funding for drug-induced liver injury scientists and toxicology researchers in any country to develop a humanised (non animal-based) model for toxicity testing and/or improve the predictive nature of current models.
Animal Free Research UK (AFRUK), the working name of the Dr Hadwen Trust, was established in 1970 as a non-animal research charity and seeks to fund high-calibre, animal-replacement research.
The focus of AFRUK’s Drug-Induced Liver Injury (DILI) Toxicology Innovative Pilot Grants is on research and testing for drug-induced liver injury, a common side effect of taking medicinal drugs that could be prevented by using human-focused tools that more effectively predict harmful side effects. The aim is to contribute to the evidence base underpinning the need to adopt human-focused methods to study drug toxicity and overcome the issue of poor translation from animal-based tests to humans.
AFRUK recently published a paper that showed that liver-on-chip methods, made from human tissue, significantly outperformed animal tests in predicting human DILI. To build a strong case for a phase of new approach methodologies to replace animal tests, more studies are needed that compare the performance of human-focused in vitro and in silico models with animal-based methods. Further research is also needed to develop existing approaches and improve their prediction of human safety and risk further.
There is a particular interest in funding pilot projects that aim to use or refine fully humanised models in silico or in vitro (free from animal-derived biomaterials) to validate their relevance to humans by testing a set of known toxic and non-toxic drugs.
Projects should be totally animal-free and align with AFRUK’s Animal-Derived Biomaterials Statement.