Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Agilent, Illumina Sponsor Alliance Established for Toxicity Testing Using Integrated Systems Biology

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences has established a pre-competitive partnership with several organizations to advance an integrated systems biology approach to toxicity testing research.

The partnership announced today will use toxicity pathway case studies in order to accelerate implementation of recommendations put forth in a National Research Council report, said Hamner. The partners will develop cell-based assays for mapping and modeling cell signaling pathways for assessing dose responses. Validated with prototype chemicals, the assays will allow researchers to perform toxicity testing and risk assessments based solely on in vitro test results and eliminate the need for toxicity studies with intact animals.

Such in vitro-based testing, the Research Triangle Park, NC-based non-profit institute added, will accelerate the testing of compounds already in commercial use as well as new compounds. Hamner also said that rapid testing would aid in evaluating the thousands of chemicals currently in backlog for which there is limited toxicity test data and could potentially hasten drug discovery and development by providing a method of assessing compounds "far earlier" in the development process.

Hamner and Brown University will conduct the research, which is being sponsored by partners including Agilent Technologies, Illumina, Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, ExxonMobil, Unilever, and CropLife America member companies.

The Long-Range Research Initiative of the American Chemistry Council supported earlier stages of the research.

"This groundbreaking partnership brings together all the components necessary to take a truly integrated biology approach to 21st century toxicity testing and take advantage of modern biology," Hamner President and CEO William Greenlee said in a statement.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.