about us

Out of thousands of chemicals in use today, very few have been fully evaluated for potential health risks. A majority of in vitro high-through put
screening (HTS) assays used to test chemicals for potential toxicity lack metabolic competence. While existing technologies could help fill t his gap (i.e. recombination enzymes, liver micro somes, liver S9 fractions, primary hepatocytes), these technologies are not currently adapted to allow metabolic
transformations in HTS systems (i.e. cell-base d assays).

The goal of this challenge is to develop a practical design that will turn existing, commonly used in vitro chemical screening assays into tests
competent (e.g. drug metabolizing cyto chromes P450) enough to produce physiologically relevant metabolites within cell-based HTS assays which will evaluate both parent chemical and metabolite effects in t he assay responses.

The successful design will offer information that can be used to review and evaluate HTS assay results, and will also ensure better quality data, transparency, and overall confidence in assay results.


The Transform Tox Testing Challenge has multiple stages, with prizes (amount s are subject to change) awarded as applicants advance to each of the stages. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA ), the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Center for Advancing Transnational Sciences (NCATS), and the National Toxicology Program (NTP), headquartered at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), welcome all segments of industry, academia, and government , including associations, innovator s, and enthusiasts to enter t his competition.


Only a small number of chemicals in use today have enough toxicity data to fully evaluate their potential health risks. What ‘s more, hundreds more
chemicals are introduced into commerce every year. Being able to use HTS assays with metabolic competence could revolutionize the current approach used to evaluate the safety of chemical s and better protect human health.