BASF and Transinsight agree to collaborate in exploring alternatives to animal testing

Ludwigshafen, Dresden 11 July 2008BASF SE and Transinsight GmbH, a provider of semantic search technologies for Web 2.0, have agreed to establish close co-operation in the area of semantic analyses to search for alternatives to animal testing. Together with the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment - Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung BfR, both companies will expand the first specialized semantic search engine for this research area called to become a global internet platform. In the future, experts from all over the world will be able to use this platform to bring together their knowledge on alternative and supplementary methods to animal testing.


For over 20 years, BASF has been committed to establishing alternative and supplementary methods. Since 2004, the company has been developing and validating alternatives to animal testing in its own alternatives laboratory with a research budget of 2 million euros per year. Even now alternative methods are employed in 25 percent of all the company's tests.

"We are striving to increase this proportion. Transinsight's semantic search supports us in this endeavour. With the help of this highly promising technology, we - just like any other potential user - can browse the internet, internal sources, patents and specialized databases much more efficiently than before when searching for information on meaningful approaches to new alternative methods", explained Dr. Robert Landsiedel, Head of the Short Term Toxicology Department at BASF.

Transinsight's semantic search engine also finds related terms and web pages that are relevant for the respective search term and thus provides considerably more accurate and comprehensive search results than conventional full text search engines.

"Go3R will make a tremendous contribution to improving the process of searching for information on alternative methods", stated Dr. Michael R. Alvers, CEO of Transinsight. "To achieve this, we are transferring the Wikipedia concept - the largest internet encyclopaedia compiled by the community - to semantic networks of terms. Currently, this is the most efficient way to achieve a large knowledge base within a short period of time and thus to significantly reduce the amount of animal testing in the long term", Dr. Alvers continued.

BASF's portfolio ranges from oil and gas to chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products and fine chemicals. As a reliable partner, BASF helps its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges, such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF has more than 95.000 employees and posted sales of almost 58 billion euro in 2007. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN).

Transinsight develops knowledge-based semantic solutions in the Life Sciences. Their flagship products and, renowned biomedical search engines, are the first knowledge-based search systems of the next generation for the Life Sciences on the internet. In acknowledgement of the technologies developed by the company, Transinsight has repeatedly been honoured with international awards. The firm works in close collaboration with the Dresden University of Technology. Selected customers are Unilever, BASF, BfR, StatoilHydro, Wintershall, AbCam and EMBL.

The platform is already available on-line. The service is free of charge. More company news is available in the VMW May 2008 article Latest internet technology for the replacement of animal experiments.

Leslie Versweyveld

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