Interview with Alexander Amberg

Alexander Amberg, Head of In Silico Toxicology at Sanofi, analyses his role in the project as an EFPIA representative

What is your current role in eTRANSAFE?

I’m the EFPIA representative of Sanofi for this eTRANSAFE collaboration and my role on the one hand is to ensure that all project management tasks between the consortium and Sanofi are aligned. Then I’m also involved in many scientific tasks, so I actively participate in the different Work Packages dealing with historical, SEND, preclinical and clinical data as well as in the Work Packages responsible for in silico modelling and the software platform.

What is your overall vision of the project?

I think this is a highly interesting but also very challenging project. Highly interesting because it is planned to cover and to help in so many processes which are part of the daily work in pharmaceutical drug development in R&D. Examples are the development of the different databases which will allow electronical access to the companies’ historical preclinical and clinical data as well as those shared by other companies to improve patients safety without the need to perform additional testings. Another example will be the eTRANSAFE system with all its different functionalities that could be used for complex, multifunctional searches and visualizations. And last but not least the use of all these different data sets to extract training data for the development of different in silico prediction models.

What do you find most challenging about the project?

On the other hand it will be also a challenging project because it will try to cover so many diverse things that should be handled by one eTRANSAFE system, so to say a “Swiss army knife” that can answer all questions. Additionally challenging will be also that so many experts with different expertise from all the individual public partners or EFPIA companies have to work together to achieve all the planned goals in a reasonable time. But on the other side these challenges will be also a big opportunity to end up in good deliverables that will help in the daily work in pharmaceutical drug development.

What represents for your organization the involvement in the eTRANSAFE project?

For our organization the most benefit is seen to be a part of this cooperation across the different pharmaceutical companies together with the high experienced partner from universities and smaller software companies (SMEs). Because only such a big cooperation will be able to realize all these ambitious goals which cannot be achieved internally by only one company alone. Additionally, we have as part of this cooperation the chance to support the results of eTRANSAFE in a way that it will be most beneficial for pharmaceutical drug development.

What are your expectations from the eTRANSAFE project?

My expectation from the eTRANSAFE is that we will be able to realize until the end of this project the most important parts of this multi-functional “Swiss army knife” eTRANSAFE system, since we already had a good start and formed high efficient teams in the different Work Packages. Furthermore I expect that we will be able to establish also a community of all the different partners that will stay in contact and will work together also on future projects and challenges after the end of this project.


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