To provide a solution for advancing human risk assessment of chemicals without the use of animals

Horizon Europe funding scheme logo for ONTOX project

ONTOX will deliver a generic strategy to create innovative new approach methodologies (NAMs) in order to predict systemic repeated dose toxicity effects that, upon combination with tailored exposure assessment, will enable human risk assessment. 

This strategy can be applied to any type of chemical and systemic repeated dose toxicity effect. 

However, for proof-of-concept purposes, focus will be put on 6 specific NAMs addressing adversities in the liver (steatosis and cholestasis), kidneys (tubular necrosis and crystallopathy) and developing brain (neural tube closure and cognitive function defects) induced by a variety of chemicals, including from the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, food and biocide sectors.

The 6 NAMs will each consist of a computational system based on cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) and will be primarily fed by available biological / mechanistic, toxicological / epidemiological, physico-chemical and kinetic data. Data will be consecutively integrated in physiological maps, quantitative adverse outcome pathway networks and ontology frameworks. Data gaps, as identified by AI, will be filled by targeted state-of-the-art in vitro and in silico testing. 

The 6 NAMs will be evaluated and applied in collaboration with industrial and regulatory stakeholders in order to maximise end-user acceptance and regulatory confidence.
This is anticipated to expedite implementation in risk assessment practice and to facilitate commercialisation. 

ONTOX will have a deep and long-lasting impact at many levels, in particular by consolidating Europe’s world-leading position regarding the development, exploitation, regulation and application of animal-free methods for human risk assessment of chemicals.

ONTOX is part of the ASPIS cluster that represents Europe’s effort towards the sustainable, animal-free and reliable chemical risk assessment of tomorrow. 

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 963845

Project ongoing

Start date / End date
1 may 2021 / 30 april 2026

Funded under

Overall budget
€17 211 050

EU Contribution
€17 211 050

Coordinated by
🇧🇪 Belgium

Full project’s information on the EC CORDIS website