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BioSeek Gets $47M Contract for ToxCast Program

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – BioSeek today said that the US Environmental Protection Agency has extended the firm's contract to participate in the ToxCast screening program.

Under the new, five-year contract, BioSeek will receive up to $46,770,000 to test up to 60,000 samples. The specific award will be determined by the volume of testing required over the five-year period.

South San Francisco, Calif.-based BioSeek will use its BioMAP platform, which combines human cell-based assay data with clinically relevant results, to study compounds for potential toxicity and effects on human health. It will use the platform to help predict the biological activity and potential toxicity of environmental chemicals, pesticides, failed pharmaceuticals, and nanomaterials.

BioSeek's previous contract for the ToxCast program began in 2007. The firm received $12.8 million for its efforts during that period.

"Our efforts are providing EPA with important information relevant to the potential human health effects associated with exposure to a wide range of environmental and other compounds," BioSeek General Manager Ellen Berg said in a statement. "Additionally this work will expand the BioMAP reference database with a wealth of new information for mining with our pharmaceutical partners to help understand their compounds' safety and activity in the context of human biology, prior to entering costly clinical trials."