Our mission is to

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

What we offer

 
  • Assessment of toxicity and health effects of compounds through a combination of wet lab testing and data science solutions

  • Identification of the mode of action by which your product affects the human body (mechanisms / Adverse Outcome Pathways)

  • Assisting you in selecting the most suitable -regulatory animal free- test system(s) for studies towards compound activity

  • Investigating your complex compounds (among others: volatile, UVCBs, plant extracts, and compound mixtures)

  • Assisting you with tailor-made solutions for your research approach

Our services

Vivaltes offers a combination of data science and wet lab testing with the non-mammalian organism Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) to assess adverse and/or positive health effects of compounds.
Areas of service include analysis of (components of) food and animal feed, chemicals, active plant ingredients, and pharmaceuticals.

Uniquely, Vivaltes’ systems allow analysis of combinations of active compounds and substances with unknown or variable composition, complex reaction products, or of biological materials (UVCBs).

Originally developed for developmental and reproductive toxicology (DART) testing, our wet lab portfolio now also includes: neurotoxicity, oxidative stress, fat accumulation, eating behaviour, associative learning, energy levels, and autophagy. Toxicity and beneficial health effects can be tested concurrently, with the possibility to start from a disease model.

Our data science portfolio includes evolutionary cross-species conservation mapping, phenomics, and pathway mapping. See for example our product DARTpaths.

Contact Vivaltes directly to discuss options for tailor-made solutions.

Rationale

 
Our service pipeline provides ethical alternatives for regulatory animal research and aims to reduce, replace, and refine (3Rs) regulated animal testing. This is achieved by introducing a Tier-1 phase using new alternative test methods. C. elegans nematodes are very small animals of only ~1mm in size. Even though the animal-testing law does not apply for C. elegans, it has the same complexity as higher organisms. As a result, C.elegans-derived data and mammal-derived data (rats, mice, rabbits) generate a comparable reliability when compared to humans.

Unlike in vitro tests with cells, living organisms like C. elegans have cells and organs inside their body which communicate with each other, for example by neurons but also hormones and other signalling molecules.

Our strategy allows us to pre-screen compounds to identify health activities (toxicity and/or pharmaceutical effects), to identify synergism between compounds, and to discover how compounds influence a body. Vivaltes contribution is to assist with the selection of the most promising compounds to fill your product development pipelines. In addition, knowledge on how compounds cause their effects helps to identify (new) compound health activities, can improve compound/drug combinations, serves as supportive proof for regulatory acceptance.

Using data science, Vivaltes can now go beyond exploratory lab testing. We are able to extract (e.g. mammalian) phenotypes from scientific literature and internal reports, and identity the involved mechanism/mode of action (like Adverse Outcome Pathways). Accordingly, we can predict expected phenotypes for the new test methods, like for the in vivo test organisms C. elegans and zebrafish. Our data science pipeline allows us to perform more focused confirmatory lab testing.

Moreover, we are developing a data platform which maps the health effects of herbs and its compounds, including its biological mechanisms. This database assists agricultural companies in developing new health beneficial products and marketing their activities.

Finally, in collaboration with academic and industrial partners, we are developing an online database that contains physicochemical and pharmacokinetic properties of chemicals. This database will be able to assist customers with reliable testing and allow for quantitative in vitro to in vivo extrapolations (QIVIVE).

The Experimental Model

Vivaltes’ core strength is the experimental model organism C. elegans, a 1-mm long transparent nematode, belonging to the animal kingdom. However, C. elegans falls outside the definition of animals as described in the animal testing law, and experimental work is as such 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. C. elegans has proven its applicability in predicting compound-induced health effects relevant to humans, evident from the increasing number of publications.

 The C. elegans body plan

Core components of our services

  • C. elegans is a multicellular organism, it has neuronal, motor, digestive, and reproductive systems, endocrine signalling, and sensory/behavioural responses to stimuli, which are not present in cell and tissue cultures.
  • The organism has been extensively studied since 1963, there is thus a large body of knowledge to make use of.
  • Humans and C. elegans have a common ancestor, thus essential genes and key biological pathways of C. elegans and humans are conserved.
  • Testing C. elegans is cost-effective and allows for rapid turn-around of experiments. An advantage of the use of C. elegans as a test system is that it allows for multiple concentrations and exposure times to be assessed simultaneously. Multigeneration and progeny testing can be done in weeks rather than years due to its rapid lifecycle.
  • Multiple types of toxicity ranking screens have demonstrated a high correlation of phenotypic endpoints in C. elegans to rat LD50s, with C. elegans data and mouse data predicting toxicity ranking in rat equally well.

Our Core Purpose

 

To reduce the costs and the number 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 tailor-made solutions.

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

Our Vision

To reduce the cost and burden of animal testing by:

  • Utilizing C. elegans nematodes as standard Tier 1 alternatives for animal testing.
  • Extracting the relevant information from the wealth of knowledge within scientific literature using data science.

Our Core Values

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

Projects

Publications

  • Serum Metabolomic Analysis of Coronary Heart Disease Patients with Stable Angina Pectoris Subtyped by Traditional Chinese Medicine Diagnostics Reveals Biomarkers Relevant to Personalized Treatments. Frontiers in Pharmacology (2021)

Collaborative Projects

  • Create2Solve: Better in-vitro Dosing – Framework and technology development for improving the quality of in vitro data (budget: €1.1M; 2020-2026)
  • DARTpaths: Mapping developmental and reproductive toxicity genes and pathways for cross-species comparison of toxic compound effects (budget: £1.1M; 2018-2022)
  • MIT: Integration of Western & Chinese knowledge for creating a new market for health-beneficial foods (budget: €320K; 2019-2021)
  • EFRO 3R TOXFLOW: Regulatory animal free petrochemical testing (budget: €4.3M; 2018-2022)
  • EFRO Evergreen: Health benefits of hot peppers (2016-2020)
  • PRE-DART: Non-mammalian testing for developmental and reproductive toxicology (budget: £850K; 2013-2016)
  • Nieuwe Voeding Helpdesk: Regulation and testing of novel foods (2021-ongoing)

Using Data Science to explore and predict
health effects of compounds and herbs

About Us

Vivaltes was founded by Dr. Marjolein Wildwater and Dr. Gerrit Keizer in 2016 as a result of a NC3R-funded project. Their goal was to reduce animal research when carrying out toxicological and medicinal studies by offering C. elegans wet lab testing. Since then, Vivaltes has grown into a successful company with an enthusiastic team who share their vision of reducing animal testing, and with several long-term (inter)national customers. Expanding beyond wet lab testing, Vivaltes has won funding for several ambitious projects, which has helped develop their data science solutions. With strong roots in the scientific community, Vivaltes closely collaborates with academic institutions (such as University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and Utrecht University), which helps them to stay on top of scientific advances.

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

Director Strategy and Business Development at Vivaltes. 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 Scientific Project Leader

Lead Bioinformatician and Project Leader at Vivaltes. 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, and responsible for website design and maintenance. Specialized in human neuroscience, psychology, and physiology.

Jesús G. Arellano Spadaro

Scientist

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

Monique Remers

Laboratory Manager

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

Mark van Leeuwen

Technician

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.

You?

Technician

We are looking for a research technician to strengthen our team.
View the description here.

Prof. Cyrille Krul

Scientific Advisor

Scientific Advisor at Vivaltes. 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

Scientific Advisor at Vivaltes. 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).

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

Highlights

 

New Publication



June 14, 2021
Vivaltes published a new article in Frontiers in Pharmacology. In collaboration with Chinese universities, Vivaltes explored the metabolomic differences between patient groups based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. This could be used in personalized medicine for coronary heart disease.

Read the full article here.

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

3R TOXFLOW

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

Vacancies

We are looking for a research technician to strengthen our team!
View the description here.
 

Occasionally we have internship positions available.
If you are interested, please e-mail us your motivation and CV.

Contact

 

Vivaltes B.V.

We are situated centrally in the Netherlands in Europe’s most competitive region. Our headquarters is located near 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.

KVK Address

Heerhugowaard,
Noord-Holland,
The Netherlands

Headquarters Vivaltes

Regulierenring 9,
3981 LA Bunnik,
The Netherlands

Visiting address iLabs

Heidelberglaan 7
3584 CS Utrecht
The Netherlands

E-mail

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

 In part funded by 

ProvincieNH
ProvincieUtrecht
NC3R
Greenport
EFRO logo