BioSeek and EPA Expand ToxCast™ Contract
News Jul 06, 2009
BioSeek, Inc. has announced that the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will utilize BioSeek's BioMAP® Systems technology to profile the biological effects of compounds in a second phase of the agency’s ToxCast™ program.
The new program expands upon a successful proof-of-concept phase begun in 2007, after which EPA and independent investigators compared the toxicity profiling data from a wide number of profiling technologies including BioMAP.
BioSeek will now generate BioMAP data on an additional set of chemicals selected by EPA in order to assess the potential impact of these compounds on the environment and human health.
Under the new Phase II task order, BioSeek is eligible to receive $1.74 million over the next year, and remains eligible to participate in both further downstream phases of the ToxCast program and its eventual implementation. The specific value of any future orders will depend on the volume of testing required during the contract period.
The results from the ToxCast program will aid the EPA in prioritizing chemicals with the potential health threat for additional, more detailed testing. The five-year effort, divided into three phases of evaluation, was initiated and is managed by the EPA’s National Center for Computational Toxicology (NCCT).
“BioSeek’s continued participation in Phase II of ToxCast is a clear signal from both EPA and independent investigators that BioMAP data is useful in the characterization of bioactive compounds, regardless of whether those activities are related to potential therapeutic efficacy or adverse toxicology. The ToxCast contract with EPA is highly complementary to our drug discovery partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and provides additional validation of BioMAP’s ability to detect toxicities, characterize the mechanisms of biologically active compounds and identify potential clinical applications of drug candidates early in the development process,” said Michael C. Venuti, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of BioSeek.
Scientists from the UNC School of Medicine discovered that the anti-inflammatory protein NLRP12 normally helps protect mice against obesity and insulin resistance when they are fed a high-fat diet. The researchers also reported that the NLRP12 gene is underactive in people who are obese, making it a potential therapeutic target for treating obesity and diabetes.READ MORE