Genotoxicity describes the property of chemical agents that damage the genetic information within a cell, causing mutations, chromosome re-arrangements/mis-segregation which could lead to cancer
The internationally required genotoxicity tests are effective in providing positive results for carcinogens, but they can also provide positive results for most non-carcinogens. These results are known as misleading positives.
University researchers realised that developing a more accurate assay would reduce the number of misleading positives and allow resources to be focused on compounds likely to succeed in the clinic.
In the late 1990s, Professor Richard Walmsley founded a spin-out company called Gentronix.
Gentronix provides services that help organisations to optimise the development of drugs and other chemicals by reducing attrition due to genotoxicity. This ensures safer products across a wide range of industries.
The direct beneficiaries of the company's technology come from diverse sectors. More than 100 companies worldwide are using Gentronix kits, including pharmaceutical, agricultural, health and beauty companies, as well as manufacturers of food flavourings and household goods.
"Gentronix can produce reliable genotoxicity data within 48 hours, and over 70 companies from around the globe have now sent compounds for testing in our laboratories."Professor Richard Walmsley / Professor of Genetics, The University of Manchester