The Lhasa Limited board of Directors holds in high regard the principle of public benefit and requires the Chief Executive Officer and staff of Lhasa Limited to pursue strategies that demonstrate this. The Board of Directors, at its quarterly meetings, reviews ongoing charitable activities to ensure consistency with our charitable objects. The Board of Directors is aware of the Charity Commission’s guidance on public benefit and has regard to it in determining the charity’s aims and in the way it carries out its activities.
Lhasa Limited is committed to the development and use of computer-aided reasoning and information systems for the advancement of chemistry and the life sciences. By performing research on chemical, toxicology and metabolism data, our scientists are able to provide members with software systems that allow them to make predictions about the safety of chemicals, thereby providing public benefit through:
- Reducing the need for animal testing
- Improving the lengthy and costly process of developing new drugs
- Safeguarding human health from the adverse effects of chemicals
Please view Lhasa's Initiatives page for some key examples of how Lhasa works to demonstrate public benefit.
The charitable aims of Lhasa Limited include the sponsorship of activities that advance scientific knowledge and understanding through the use of computer-aided reasoning in chemistry and the life sciences. The Charity directly promotes and encourages the use of our software for academic teaching and research by offering membership on significantly preferential terms. In addition, the Charity actively supports research through sponsorship of:
- Computational chemistry events
- Scientific symposia and academic prizes
- Research projects and scientific training to Ph.D. level
As well as performing research and development ourselves, the Charity is committed to providing financial support for others to carry out their own research and to discuss their findings to further advance and refine the science. Specifically, the Charity provides support for research within academic institutions and the outcomes of this research and that of our own scientists, are disseminated through publications, talks and poster presentations at relevant scientific events all around the world.
The software developed by the Charity enables the scientific community to carry out research much more effectively, reducing animal use in experiments, helping to improve toxicological testing and improving the communication of knowledge about toxicology and metabolism. Members, academic and government regulatory organisations benefit from the unique data and knowledge-sharing approach of Lhasa Limited, enhancing quality of life by assisting in the development of, and access to, safer chemical entities for the benefit of the public.
Our position as a charity, without a purely commercial outlook, makes it easier for organisations to donate their data, secure in the knowledge that it will only be used to promote scientific development to the benefit of all. In addition, our unique position is seen as key for sharing contributed data (for example our role in the eTOX consortium where we hold the position of “honest broker”), which further expands the scope of scientific collaboration for the public benefit.
Membership and software sponsorship fees are used to support the ongoing research and development carried out by the Charity. Through the generous funding of our main sponsors, Lhasa Limited is able to offer very low fees to academic organisations and public non-political bodies to ensure that its knowledge is available to the widest possible public audience. In addition, members contribute the results of their own research, thereby making scientific research publicly available that would not otherwise be accessible to the scientific community. The Charity therefore plays an invaluable role by bringing previously unpublished information into the public domain, and permitting the knowledge derived from this to be used by the scientific community for the public benefit.
Sponsorship expenditure during 2020 totalled £86,599. During 2020 the Board of Directors approved a number of sponsorship activities in accordance with Lhasa Limited’s charitable objects including:
- Contribution towards Silico Tox meeting at the University of Cambridge.
- Contribution towards lunch event at the Society of Toxicology.
- Sponsorship of the InFoMM Mini project at the University of Oxford.
- Sponsorship of online chemistry training course organised by Scientific Update UK.
- 3 year sponsorship, commenced September 2020, of the University of Leeds research project: Reactivity data for prediction models in chemical syntheses.
- 3 year sponsorship, commenced October 2020, of the University of Oxford research project: Investigating graph-based machine learning methods in drug discovery.
Sponsorship expenditure continuing into 2020 which represents grants awarded to institutions to sponsor PhD students in accordance with Lhasa Limited's charitable objectives including:
- 4 year sponsorship, commenced January 2017, of the University of Cambridge project: Evaluating and Mining the first FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS).
- 3 year sponsorship, commenced September 2019, of the University of Sheffield project: Understanding artificial intelligence models for toxicity prediction..