Caliper Life Sciences has received the remaining balance of the compound library for the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Phase II ToxCast screening programme of 1,000 possibly toxic chemicals.
Caliper's participation in this programme, first announced in 2007, involves the application of extensive and diverse proprietary assay and screening technologies.
The ToxCast programme was initiated to speed up the identification of potentially toxic compounds and the impact of chemical exposure on the human body.
It relies on innovative research approaches that predict toxicity while minimising reliance on animal models.
Caliper Discovery Alliances and Services' (CDAS) predictive toxicity panel has been used in the EPA ToxCast screening program and increasingly by pharmaceutical, agricultural and cosmetic companies, to assess potential chemical toxicity of their compounds in commercial development.
The CDAS assays use human and animal proteins which mediate key biological functions in the body to screen for possible adverse or toxic effects of chemicals.
Caliper recently initiated testing of the second half of the 700 chemicals that comprise Phase II of the ToxCast screening program through the CDAS in vitro panel, which includes over 230 such assays.
Many of the chemicals being tested in the ToxCast program are components of industrial and consumer products, as well as agrichemicals and pharmaceuticals, which were previously tested for in-vivo toxicity using live animals.
By comparing the in-vitro data being generated by CDAS under the ToxCast program with the known in-vivo effects of these ToxCast library compounds, the predictive potential of the in-vitro assays can be determined.
The EPA is tasked with testing thousands of compounds and chemicals each year, which has led to a significant backlog in the regulatory approval process.
The goal of the ToxCast program is to reduce the EPA's dependence on expensive and lengthy animal testing and implement solutions that enable faster identification of harmful chemicals at a lower cost and with higher accuracy.