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

The PETA Science Consortium International applauds the announcement on January 8, 2016 of a new testing challenge by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and National Toxicology Program.

The Transform Tox Testing Challenge: Innovating for Metabolism will award up to $1 million for new ways to incorporate chemical metabolism into high-throughput screening (HTS) assays. HTS assays allow large numbers of chemicals to be tested rapidly and inexpensively. In addition, they can incorporate human cells and offer insight into human-relevant mechanisms underlying toxicity. However, many HTS assays do not currently incorporate metabolism and may underestimate the risks posed by chemicals that are metabolized into more toxic forms. Successfully incorporating metabolism into these assays – as this challenge aims to do – will improve their ability to accurately predict effects on human health, leading to broader acceptance by regulators and further reducing the number of animals used in toxicity testing.

PSCI also welcomes these agencies’ continued implementation of competitive challenges to spur innovation and reward results. PSCI has sponsored challenges of its own to develop adverse outcome pathways and new applications for human tissue models. Challenges are a twenty-first century approach for twenty-first century toxicology.