[ascct] Transform Tox Testing Challenge Launched

  • From: Kristie Sullivan <KSullivan@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: "ascct@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <ascct@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 8 Jan 2016 19:08:19 -0500

Federal Agencies Partner to Launch the Transform Tox Testing Challenge to
Improve Chemical Screening

Release Date: 01/08/2016
Contact Information: Robert Daguillard,
daguillard.robert@xxxxxxx<mailto:daguillard.robert@xxxxxxx>, 202-564-6618

Up to $1 million to be distributed among winning submissions

WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the
National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Center for Advancing
Translational Sciences (NCATS), and NIH’s National Toxicology Program (NTP)
within the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) are
announcing a new challenge that will award up to $1 million to improve the
relevance and predictivity of data generated from automated chemical screening
technology used for toxicity testing.

Out of thousands of chemicals in commerce today, very few have been fully
evaluated for potential health effects. Scientists from EPA, NIEHS/NTP, and
NCATS are using high-throughput screening (HTS) assays to evaluate the
potential health effects of thousands of chemicals. High-throughput screening
uses automated methods that allow for a large number of chemicals to be rapidly
evaluated for a specific type of biological activity.

Current HTS assays do not fully incorporate chemical metabolism, so they may
miss chemicals that are metabolized to a more toxic form in the body. The
challenge announced today, Transform Tox Testing Challenge: Innovating for
Metabolism, is calling on innovative thinkers to find new ways to incorporate
physiological levels of chemical metabolism into HTS assays. This will help
researchers more accurately assess effects of chemicals and better protect
human health.

Teams will compete in three stages for a total award of $1 million. The first
stage, opening today and closing April 8 seeks practical designs that may be
fully implemented. Up to ten submissions may receive a prize of $10,000 each
and an invitation to continue on to the next stage.

The second stage requires a prototype that demonstrates the proposed idea in
use. Up to five participants may be awarded up to $100,000 each and invited to
participate in the final stage. The final stage requires a commercially viable
method or technology for EPA and its partners to demonstrate and test. Based on
this testing one participant may be awarded up to $400,000 for delivery of a
method or device that will result in technologies that can provide metabolic
competence to HTS assays.

All segments of industry, government, academia, non-governmental organizations,
and others are encouraged to enter.

For more information on the Tox Testing Challenge, visit:

EPA is a federal agency whose mission is to protect human health and the
environment. For more information about EPA, visit

NTP is a federal, interagency program, headquartered at the NIEHS, whose goal
is to safeguard the public by identifying substances in the environment that
may affect human health. For more information about NTP and its programs, visit

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) is a
distinctly different entity in the research ecosystem. Rather than targeting a
particular disease or fundamental science, NCATS focuses on what is common
across diseases and the translational process. The Center emphasizes innovation
and deliverables, relying on the power of data and new technologies to develop,
demonstrate and disseminate advancements in translational science that bring
about tangible improvements in human health. For more information, visit

See BloombergBNA story: http://www.bna.com/agencies-offer-million-n57982065898/

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