To spur innovation and advance predictive toxicology, NTP partnered with the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to launch the “Transform Tox Testing Challenge: Innovating for Metabolism.” In many chemicals shown to have toxicity, the toxicity mechanism results from the chemical breaking down during metabolism into more reactive metabolites (similar chemical structures). The goal of the challenge is to improve Tox21 bioassays by incorporating metabolism capabilities.
The three-stage challenge issued in January 2016 offered to provide up to $1 million in total prizes for modifications to existing high throughput screening (HTS) assays that allow both chemicals and their metabolites to be evaluated. Stage 1 of the challenge asked participants to submit concepts on how to integrate metabolism into Tox21 assays. The Stage 1 winners were asked to present their concepts at a workshop hosted by the challenge partners in July 2016. During the workshop, challenge partners and participants discussed the concepts and how to turn the concepts into prototypes for Stage 2 of the Challenge.
In September 2016, challenge partners launched Stage 2, where participants were asked to create a prototype and produce proof-of-concept data. During Spring 2017, partners will review the Stage 2 data and announce the winners that will move on to Stage 3 of the challenge. In Stage 3, participants will demonstrate a standardize method for incorporating metabolism into Tox21 bioassays.