call +353 1 700 7458
request a demo

PAthtox project

PATHTOX project

Artificial Intelligence to transform Drug and Chemical safety testing.

FastTrack to Innovation (FTI), 2018 from the European Commission Horizon 2020 funding under the Enhanced European Innovation Council pilot (Enhanced EIC pilot).

Toxicity testing on new drugs

Every year thousands of new drugs and chemicals are released onto the market-place. To ensure that these drugs/ chemicals do not cause severe side effects in people (such as disease, infertility, cancer or death), they must undergo toxicity testing as part of their development. Very few people understand the scale and importance of toxicity safety studies, however these tests are critical to protect people from adverse events resulting from new drugs, new pesticides, new food additives, new industrial compounds, new cosmetics, and new compounds for dentistry and veterinary treatments. Significantly 1 in 4 compounds proposed for market launch fail during this important evaluation stage, preventing significant side effects and adverse events within consumers.

Market Dynamics

Despite significant efforts to replace and reduce the requirement for animal models, for the most part, these studies are still performed in animals (mostly rodents) due to the complexity of drug/ compound metabolism in humans. As the number of proposed new drugs/chemicals continues to increase, this requires significantly more testing capacity, causing a growing bottleneck to establish in the system. Each animal used in these studies goes through a comprehensive evaluation, including animal autopsy and detailed pathological analysis via microscope analysis. These evaluations are done by highly experienced toxicologist pathologists, who undergo a minimum of 10 years training (veterinary degree and significant postgraduate training). However, there is a skills gap crisis looming due to reducing numbers of experienced pathologists, which is projected to get worse over the next decade.


Here, we intend to solve this bottle neck by creating an innovative pathology Computer Aided Diagnosis (CADX) system called ‘PATHOLYTIX-TOX’ to pre-screen the organs for toxicity.  The system uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to identify normal/abnormal organs, prioritising abnormal organs for review. This will revolutionise the traditional approach, giving huge benefits to users, pathologists and society. This is a €2 million project funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 Fast Track to Innovation (FTI). The project commenced in November 2018 and will run until October 2020.


This project is led by Janssen Pharmaceuticals R&D in collaboration with Deciphex Ltd, an Irish SME who developed the technology, and Preclinical Data Sciences (PDS), a Swiss-based SME.

Horizon 2020
This project has received fundingfrom the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme undergrant agreement No. 820588

European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme Fast Track to Innovation (FTI)

The Fast Track to Innovation (FTI) is a fully-bottom-up innovation support programme promoting close-to-the-market innovation activities open to industry-driven consortia that can be composed of all types of participants. It can help partners to co-create and test breakthrough products, services or business processes that have the potential to revolutionise existing or create entirely new markets, under the helm of the Enhanced European Innovation Council (EIC) pilot

December 5, 2019

Global Engage - Digital Pathology Conference UK 2019

Consortium partners Janssen and Deciphex both attended and presented at the 6th Annual Global Engage Digital Pathology and AI congress in London on the 5th of December 2019

Read more

December 4, 2019

PATHTOX 1st Annual review meeting

A 1st-year review meeting was conducted with all consortium partners in London in December 2019 prior to the annual global engage conference.

Read more

September 17, 2019


The 17th European Congress of Toxicologic Pathology was held at the Maternushaus in Cologne, Germany

Read more

June 25, 2019

PATHTOX On-Site Workshop

A round table meeting was organised between the Deciphex team and various members of the pathology, quality & regulatory and statistical departments of Janssen, to introduce the project to the internal team in Janssen.

Read more

December 6, 2018

Kickoff meeting for PATHTOX FTI project

A kick-off meeting was held in London which Deciphex, Janssen and PDS attended.

Read more