The Transform Tox Testing Challenge is the brainchild of the National Toxicology program and its partner agencies that offered awards for innovative ideas that will be able to help in improving the current methods used for testing toxicity.
With a headquarter at National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Toxicology Program worked with the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the United States Environmental Protection Agency in the Transform Tox Testing Challenge: Innovating for Metabolism. This aims to find and discover brand new methods that will incorporate chemical metabolism’s physiological levels into HTS or high throughput assays. Once this has been accomplished, researchers will get the help they need for more accurate assessment of the effects of different chemicals as well protect the human health better since HTS makes use of automated methods which allow for a rapid evaluation of a big number of chemicals for a particular form of biological activity.
The director of EPA’s National Center for Computational Toxicology, Dr. Russell Thomas, Ph.D. is an expert in research on more efficient and brand new ways of evaluating the safety of various chemicals, and specifically in the assessment of chemicals and how they affect human health.
There are three stages in the Transform Tox Testing Challenge wherein every stage has cash awards. An award of $500,000 awaits those who will be able to come up with ideas which can help improve the toxicity testing methods currently in use.
The concerned agencies have noted that some out of the thousands of those chemicals being used today have already been completely evaluated for their possible health effects. The existing HTS assays don’t totally integrate chemical metabolism, and this is why they might miss those chemicals which are metabolized to be in form that is more toxic once inside human body.
The very first stage was the one which called for the proposals. After that, as many as 10 of the submissions have been invited to proceed to the second stage. Here, the prototype development took place, and this was then followed by product testing stage.
The Transform Tox Testing Challenge requested the teams of scientist to come up with techniques that wi9ll retrofit the current HTS assays to include processes which will reflect how the chemicals are being broken down as well as metabolized inside human body. After semi-finalists were chosen in May 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency as well as its partners has chosen the winners for the second stage of the Transform Tox Testing Challenge.
The winners in the second stage have come up with practical designs which brings the world a step closer into transforming the commonly used and existing in vitro high throughput chemical screening assays to test which can evaluate the metabolite and parent chemical effects ion assay responses. The winners in the second stage were able to take home a cash prize of $100,000.
With the Transform Tox Testing Challenge, another breakthrough is made to further improve human health for the betterment of both the people and the environment.