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NIH collaborates with EPA to improve the safety testing of chemicals
Date:2/14/2008

oals, including: identification of toxicity pathways; selection of chemicals for testing; analysis and interpretation of data; and outreach to scientific and regulatory communities. The collective budget is yet to be determined.

The MOU and the plans articulated in the Science article provide a framework to implement the long-range vision outlined in the 2007 National Research Council (NRC) report, Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy, which calls for a collaborative effort across the toxicology community to rely less on animal studies and more on in vitro tests using human cells and cellular components to identify chemicals with toxic effects. Importantly, the strategy calls for improvements in dose-response research, which will help predict toxicity at exposures that humans may encounter.

The collaborative research program is outlined in the jointly authored Science paper.

The co-authors Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., NHGRI director; George M. Gray, Ph.D., assistant administrator for EPAs Office of Research and Development which houses the NCCT; and John R. Bucher, Ph.D., NTP associate director describe the possibility of shifting from reliance on animal testing to biochemical- and cell-based assays, as well as those using lower organisms, such as zebrafish and roundworms.

Data collection to determine chemical toxicity currently relies heavily on whole-animal tests. The growing number of new chemicals, high testing costs and public unease with animal testing led to the search for alternate toxicology testing methods. Quantitative high-throughput screening (qHTS), developed at NCGC, increases the rate at which chemicals are tested, and profiles compounds over a wide range of concentrations. These qualities make the new qHTS technology ideal for toxicology testing, with the potential for advancing the goal of more accurate and timely public health decisions.

A central component of feder
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Contact: Raymond MacDougall
macdougallr@mail.nih.gov
301-402-0911
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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