Stemina Awarded $10 Million EPA Contract
News Jan 13, 2014
The contract will generate up to $10,637,000 in revenue for Stemina over the next 5 years. Under the contract, Stemina will screen drugs and chemicals, using its devTOX toxicology tests, for their potential to cause birth defects if a woman is exposed during pregnancy. “The EPA’s ToxCast initiative is the preeminent collection of toxicology information on a broad range of chemicals,” said Elizabeth Donley, CEO of Stemina. “As the only provider of an all human system designed to assess the potential for drugs and chemicals to cause birth defects, we are proud to have our devTOX tests included in this program. Our tests will provide valuable information about the impact that various classes of compounds can have on the developing human embryo.”
Stemina’s cell based tests arise from the strategic convergence of two cutting edge technologies: stem cells and metabolomics. Stemina has published on its devTOX assays in peer reviewed scientific journals since 2009 and is a recognized leader in human stem cell based toxicology.
ToxCast is a multi-year effort launched in 2007 at the EPA that uses automated chemical screening technologies (called "high-throughput screening assays") to expose living cells or isolated proteins to chemicals. The cells or proteins are then screened for changes in biological activity that may suggest potential toxic effects and eventually potential adverse health effects. These innovative methods have the potential to limit the number of required laboratory animal-based toxicity tests while quickly and efficiently screening large numbers of chemicals.
ToxCast has evaluated over 2,000 chemicals from a broad range of sources including: industrial and consumer products, food additives, and potentially "green" chemicals that could be safer alternatives to existing chemicals.
A human pluripotent stem cell line has been engineered which contains two ‘suicide genes’ that induce cell death in all but the desired insulin-producing cells. This double fail-safe approach opens the door to creating safe cell-replacement therapies for people living with type 1 diabetes.READ MORE