While Regulatory Toxicology is a requirement, we have chosen to make Systems Toxicology an inherent part of the scientific assessment of our smoke-free products. Systems Toxicology addresses the questions why and how a substance is toxic.
Our sbv IMPROVER project uses a crowd-sourcing approach to verify our methods, studies and results. sbv IMPROVER stands for systems biology verification: Industrial Methodology for PROcess VErification in Research and has demonstrated that crowd sourcing is a viable strategy to verify scientific methodology and results in an industrial context and to build strong methodological foundations in systems biology.
We also developed the INTERVALS™ online platform to share and explore RRP assessment data and results with the entire research community, along with mechanistic studies on smoking-related diseases.
Years of biological research have already yielded a lot of data about what biological changes precede smoking-related diseases. The research has demonstrated that these biological changes occur at a molecular level, often well before disease symptoms appear. Therefore, Systems Toxicology studies can help us understand the potential effect that our smoke-free products may have on the development of smoking-related diseases in smokers who completely switched to them.
The Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP) from the European Commission defines Systems Toxicology as a branch of science that aims to quantitatively understand, model, and predict the response of cells to external stimuli and expand this to model organ and body systems.
Within the context of chemical exposure measurements and a causal succession of molecular events linking exposures with toxicity and eventual disease outcome, Systems Toxicology allows us to build a detailed understanding of the mechanisms by which biological systems respond to toxicants, and to use this understanding to assess the risk of chemicals, drugs and consumer products.