Our mission is to

Assess the health effects of compounds
without the use of animal tests

We can help you with

  • Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology (DART)

  • Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs)

  • Compounds of Unknown or Variable Composition, Complex Reaction Products and Biological Materials (UVCB Substances)

About Us


At Vivaltes we believe in reducing animal research to carry out toxicological and medicinal studies.

Vivaltes is a spin-off within the Utrecht Science Park. We provide the model organism C. elegans as an animal test-free experimental model, an intermediate between cell culture and mammalian studies. In this experimental model, the beneficial and adverse health effects of compounds can be tested with predictive power for effects in humans. By observing key events we map Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs), the central element of a toxicological knowledge framework. We have proven the combinatorial power of several alternatives to traditional animal testing in the prediction of health effects of chemicals/products. We presented the data at the 21st International C. elegans Conference, Los Angeles, 2017: “Combinatorial model organism strategy to predict developmental and reproductive toxicology (DART). Our services are available for the chemical, agricultural and pharmaceutical sector.

Our Team


Dr. Marjolein Wildwater

Founder, General Director

General Director at Vivaltes. Expert in Developmental Biology, Toxicology, Business Development.

Dr. Gerrit Keizer

Founder, Director Strategy and Business Development

Senior Executive Partner at BIO-DA, specialized in advising SME’s in life sciences regarding their business development and company set up (Organisation and Business Strategy).

Dr. Monique van der Voet

Lead Bioinformatician and Project Leader

Data Scientist at Morphogenics. Expert in Developmental Biology, Leading Scientific Projects, and Data Analysis.

Dr. Eefje Poppelaars

Data Scientist

Data Scientist at Vivaltes. Expert in data transformation and (statistical) data analysis. Responsible for website design and maintenance.

Jesús G. Arellano Spadaro 


Laboratory Technician at Vivaltes. Responsible for developing and executing high-throughput validated assays.

Monique Remers


Laboratory Technician at Vivaltes. Responsible for developing and executing high-throughput validated assays.

Dr. Sandra Langeveld

Project Manager

Project Manager at Vivaltes. Responsible for the (financial) administration.

Prof. Cyrille Krul

Scientific Advisor

Director Healthy and Sustainable Living and Professor at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht. Expert in toxicology and alternatives to animal testing.

Prof. Raymond Pieters

Scientific Advisor

Professor at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Associate Professor Utrecht University, Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS). Expert in Chemistry, Alternatives to Animal Testing, and Natural compounds (food and plant derived).

Service Pipeline


Our service pipeline supports more humane animal research and aims to reduce the cost of animal testing. We do this by introducing a Tier-1 phase of testing where animal-test free experimental models are used.

This follows the principle of 3Rs by the NC3Rs: Replacement, Reduction and Refinement.

While in vitro tests are an attractive alternative for animal testing, they can never replace full body effects of chemicals. In living organisms, cells and organs in the body communicate to each other, for example by hormones or other signalling molecules.

Additional 3R tests therefore include in vivo test systems, small organisms, like the 1-mm sized nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

Our strategy allows us to pre-screen large amounts of compounds in a high-throughput fashion, to select the most promising compounds for product development pipelines. In addition, we can gain insight in how compounds cause their effects, in order to help to improve compound/drug design procedure.

Step-wise study design

The Experimental Model


Vivaltes’ core strength is the experimental model organism C. elegans, a 1-mm long transparent nematode.

These animals fall outside the definition of animals included in the animal testing law, and are thus considered animal test-free.

C. elegans was first used as a model organism in 1963 and the acquired knowledge made an invaluable contribution to the fields of developmental biology and genetics. The application of C. elegans in the field of toxicology is rising, evident from the increasing number of publications.


 The C. elegans body plan

Model Strengths

  • C. elegans is a multicellular organism, it has neuronal, motor, digestive, and reproductive systems, endocrine signaling, and sensory/behavioral responses to stimuli, which are not present in cell and tissue cultures.
  • The organism has been studied for over 55 years, there is thus a large body of knowledge to make use of.
  • Humans and C. elegans have a common ancestor, many key pathways are conserved.
  • The ease of handling allow multiple concentrations and exposure times to be assessed simultaneously.
  • The rapid lifecycle allows for low-dose lifespan and multigeneration testing in a couple of weeks rather than years.
  • Multiple types of toxicity ranking screens have demonstrated good correlation of endpoints in C. elegans to rat LD50s, with C. elegans data and mouse data predicting toxicity ranking in rat equally well.

Additional literature: Hunt PR. The C. elegans model in toxicity testing. J Appl Toxicol. 2017

In vivo compound screening and safety assessment
for predictive assessment of effects in humans



Save the Date!

February 17, 2020
Save the Date! On May 15, 2020, Vivaltes together with Schenkeveld, Ockham, Greenport, and the NH Food team are organizing the Novel Foods event that takes place in Alkmaar. The speakers are experts of novel foods, test methods. and laws and regulations. The knowledge event is for farmers, horticulturists, seed breeders, developers of new foods and other professionals including regulators who are involved in novel foods.

Top team, all those C. elegans experts together!

Februari 11, 2020
After all that hard work, time for a nice lunch together!



Health benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine

January 22, 2020
We’re very excited and proud! How does Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) work? Vivaltes and SU BioMedicine are collaborating to modernize herbal medicine, combining technology from the West with wisdom from the East. This project is supported by Provincie Noord-Holland, which is great!

Vivaltes is Sponsor of 12th Annual Global Discovery to Development Innovation Forum

May 10, 2019
The Annual Global Discovery to Development Innovation Forum (GDDIF) is the leading pharmaceutical Research & Development summit for pharma decision makers, scientific leaders, and solutions experts. Meet us there 14–15th May 2019!

NC3Rs Crack-It Phase II started

January 15, 2019
A consortium of academic institutions and SMEs (among which Vivaltes) has received £1 million from the NC3Rs to deliver Phase 2 of the DARTpaths CRACK IT Challenge. This project is led by Professor Raymond Pieters.

read more

Hot peppers: a new weapon in the fight against obesity?

December 8, 2018
Hot peppers contain a substance that causes you to burn more fat. In that way, one can continue to eat the same and still lose weight. In America a medicine is being made from hot peppers. Dutch researchers want to make a food supplement or even a whole new pepper variety. Vivaltes is working on the subject with a team of researchers.
read more


October 15, 2018
The goal of the TOX FLOW project is to set up a test method for animal test-free testing of effects of complex substances on reproduction and development (also called developmental and reproductive toxicology (DART)). Partners in this project are HU, IRAS-UU, WUR, RIKILT, Pamgene.
read more

Medicinal properties of peppers

October 7, 2018
Dr. Marjolein Wildwater, Director at Vivaltes presented test methods to unravel the medicinal properties of peppers in obesitas.
read more

NC3Rs Crack-It Phase I

January 1, 2018
Vivaltes and collaborators obtained funding from NC3Rs to develop a proof-of-concept for DARTpaths CRACK-IT challenge to map developmental and reproductive toxicity (DART).
read more

Identifying health-promoting effects of plant substances

October 18, 2017
Dr. Marjolein Wildwater, Director at Vivaltes, gave a Masterclass about identifying health-promoting effects of plant substances by using a simple, rapid test method.
read more

Vivaltes becomes partner in EFRO Evergreen

May 1, 2017
Project Evergreen is executed by 26 agricultural businesses and 6 knowledge institutes. Participants commit to sustainable soil management, green crop protection, reduction of diseases and increasing food safety, strengthening of biodiversity, reduction of energy consumption and application of technological innovations, automation and robotisation.
read more

Our Core Purpose


To reduce the costs of animal testing by the introduction of a Tier 1 phase of testing in experimental models with predictive power for effects in humans

To select the most promising compounds for your product development pipeline, by pre-screening large amounts of compounds in a high throughput fashion

To understand how your compounds cause their effects in order to help to improve compound/drug design procedure

Our Vision
Reduce the cost and burden of animal testing by utilizing C. elegans nematodes as standard Tier 1 alternatives for animal testing.

Our Core Values

  • We strongly value authenticity and open communication.
  • Our passion is to deliver the best service and improve product development pipelines.


 Occasionally we have internship positions available.

If you are interested, please e-mail your CV with motivation letter.



Vivaltes B.V.

We are situated centrally in the Netherlands in Europe’s most competitive region. Our headquarters is located at the Uithof in Utrecht, which encompasses the Utrecht Science Park, the campus area of Utrecht University, the applied university Hogeschool Utrecht and the academic hospital University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU).

On this campus education, research, entrepreneurship, and healthcare all come together.

Headquarters Vivaltes

The Netherlands

Visiting address iLabs

Heidelberglaan 7
3584 CS Utrecht
The Netherlands


Contact individual members of the team
or contact us here: info@vivaltes.com

 In part funded by 

EFRO logo