Nicolas Bosc, Researcher at ELIXIR – EMBL, considers eTRANSAFE as a framework that allows preclinical, clinical and related data to be shared, and accessed in a single place
What is your current role in eTRANSAFE?
I have two hats in eTRANSAFE. As part of WP5 and with the support of other partners I am developing some workflows for the project. These workflows are being developed in parallel to the Knowledge Hub (KH). They have several objectives such as exploring data source connections, showing that we can integrate pre-clinical and clinical data, but most importantly they are identifying potential issues for the KH regarding the data integration. Then, with WP8, I am working on building predictive models. Specifically the DILI task force have recently developed a preliminary batch of models. Helped by the end-user requirements, the data collected for the project and the shared experience, these models will hopefully evolve to deliver relevant outputs to scientists working on drug safety.
What is your overall vision of the project?
It will not surprise anyone that this is a very interesting project. Better predicting candidate toxicity as early as possible is a major challenge that pharma companies have to address to allow them to reduce failure rate and deliver safer drugs for patients. eTRANSAFE creates a framework that allows preclinical, clinical and related data to be shared, and accessed in a single place. I guess that for the end user, eTRANSAFE will deliver a translational tool they are missing and this should help them in decision-making. I am not aware that such project has ever been attempted and this makes it particularly ambitious.
What do you find most challenging about the project?
Interestingly, what makes eTRANSAFE so interesting is also its biggest challenge. From my perspective, integrating several data sources, from different domains and with different levels of confidentiality represents the major difficulty. Also, at times, with people from different organisations and based in different locations, it can be a bit difficult to work with each other. Finally, the expectations of the KH are particularly high and it will not be easy to deliver a tool that will completely fulfil everyone’s expectations.
What represents eTRANSAFE for your personal career?
This is a good opportunity to apply my skills and knowledge to help other partners. Of course, because eTRANSAFE is above all a team project, it is also a good opportunity to collaborate with different partners. We all have different experience and backgrounds, and I know that I can learn a lot from them.