Today, XtalPi, a pioneering technology platform powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics; and Edelweiss Connect (EwC), a Swiss-headquartered business focusing on next-generation product design and risk assessment solutions, announced a strategic partnership. Both parties will fully leverage their unique advantages in chemical and pharmaceutical safety assessment, technology platforms and market expertise to jointly create market-leading skincare product safety assessment solutions by integrating machine learning, AI, in vitro assays and high-content cellular imaging analysis technology. The collaboration aims to provide more accurate and reliable integrated in silico and in vitro assessment “New Approach Methods” (NAMs) in lieu of animal testing and seeks to establish new industry standards to ensure the robust fit-for-purpose adoption of such new tools in risk assessment.
In recent years, the growing demand for diverse skincare products has led to an increased need for innovative active ingredients and formulations in the market, contributing to a stronger demand for product safety assessment and regulation. At the same time, traditional in vivo animal testing of cosmetics products has been abandoned by most of the global market. Since 2013, Europe has completely banned skincare and cosmetics animal testing and prohibited the sales of beauty products tested on animals, while Canada passed similar legislation in June 2023 and the Humane Cosmetics Act is under current review in the USA, where such testing has already been banned in ten states. There is an urgent need for industry to develop more precise and dependable cell- and organ-level NAMs and establish a consensus on best practices for their use in product decision making and risk assessment.
Under the partnership, the XtalPi Innovation Center (XIC) will collaborate closely with EwC, leveraging the technological advantages of X-Map, XtalPi’s AI-powered high-content cellular image analysis platform, combined with EwC’s extensive experience in safety assessment, to jointly research and develop AI+ cellular imaging safety evaluation methods for various skincare product safety indicators. Data services and improved models will be incorporated into EwC’s SaferSkin application, offered through its SaferWorldbyDesign platform. The collaboration aims to significantly improve the accuracy of NAMs-based testing while reducing costs and time, providing a more comprehensive, reliable, cruelty-free testing solution.
With pre-training and algorithm optimization, XtalPi’s X-Map platform will first gather image data and multi-omics data from cells treated with test APIs or formulations in the wet experiment module and conduct data analysis. Then, using its proprietary analysis model to accurately evaluate multiple core safety indicators, comprehensive safety assessment reports will be generated. As the repository of high-content cellular imaging data expands, the precision of this AI-driven safety evaluation solution will continue to be optimized. EwC will integrate X-Map data and models into its SaferSkin application providing a critical and transparent comparison of evidence with existing models including case study challenges. In the future, the potential applications of such methods could extend to additional safety endpoints of health products, environmental chemicals, and pharmaceuticals, ultimately delivering substantial social and economic benefits to industry and society.
XtalPi’s AI+ cellular imaging platform X-Map integrates Cell Painting technology and cell high-throughput transcriptome library construction technology, enabling the large-scale generation of standardized cell images and transcriptome data. XtalPi co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Dr. Lai Lipeng said, “In the realms of drug and personal care product R&D, environmental monitoring, and beyond, the transition from animal testing to in vitro models holds immense societal, economic, and ecological benefits. Combining AI and high-throughput experimental technologies holds the promise of creating superior in vitro evaluation models. EwC’s extensive expertise and established success in safety assessment, combined with XtalPi’s innovative X-Map high-content cellular imaging analysis R&D platform make for a strong alliance in driving the exploration and development of groundbreaking in vitro safety evaluation solutions.”
“Our vision for next-generation product design and risk assessment with SaferWorldbyDesign has both great ambition and real and urgent industrial and societal need for new innovative and sustainable solutions. Progress requires mobilisation and commitment of leading aligned resources within an emerging global market framework for both solution development and delivery. The partnering of Edelweiss Connect with XtalPi provides a significant injection of capability and momentum into this shared goal.” stated Barry Hardy, CEO of Edelweiss Connect.