To spur advance predictive toxicology and innovation, the NTP partnered with other two organizations to launch Transform Tox Testing Challenge. In numerous chemicals shown to have toxicity, the mechanism of toxicity results from chemical breaking down during metabolism into much reactive metabolites, which are the similar chemical structures. The main goal of this challenge is to boost Tox21 bioassays through incorporating the capabilities of metabolism.
Among the thousands of chemicals used these days, only few have been completely assessed for possible health risks. Most of vitro high-through put screening assays used for testing chemicals for possible toxicity lack of metabolic competence. While the current technologies might help in filling this gap, such technologies aren’t adapted currently to let metabolic transformations in the HTS systems.
The challenge’s goal is to develop the practical design that’ll turn existing, which is used commonly in the vitro chemical screening assays into the tests competent enough to generate relevant metabolites physiologically within the HTS assays that are cell-based that would assess both the metabolite effects and parent chemical in the assay responses.
The successful design would provide information that could be used for evaluating and reviewing the HTS assay results and would ensure better transparency, quality data, and confidence in the assay results.
The Overview of the Competition
Transform Tox Testing Challenge basically has different stages with the prizes that are awarded as applicants advance to every stage. The US EPA or Environmental Protection Agency, NIH or National Institutes of Health, NTP or National Toxicology Program, NCATS or National Center for Advancing Transnational Sciences, nestled at NIEHS welcome every segment of academia, government, and industry including innovators, associations, and other enthusiasts who want to enter the said competition.
Only some chemicals used at present have enough data on toxicity to evaluate their possible health risks completely. Aside from that, there are other chemicals that are introduced into commerce yearly. With the use of the HTS assays with the metabolic competence, it would revolutionize the approach used for evaluating the safety of the chemicals and protect human health in a better way.
The organizers of Transform Tox Challenge are searching for some innovative technological solutions to retrofit such assays to enable both chemicals as well as their metabolite products to be assessed. They have the potential to transform the methods of chemical testing, making them much relevant to real live and effective in predicting the health effects.
The 2nd stage of this competition is open to the semi-finalists who have been given with the prize in Stage 1. The semi-finalists were asked to bring their designs into a reality through characterizing technically the system’s metabolic competence, meeting general performance level, and characterizing the system functionally in various pilot screens.
During the first stage of this competition, the semi-finalists have submitted the practical designs for how the HTS assays might be retrofitted to include the xenobiotic metabolic competence. There were ten submissions that were chosen as semi-finalists and invited to join the next level of the competition.