SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- BioSeek, LLC today announced that it has been awarded a significant new contract extending and expanding the company's collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the EPA ToxCast™ screening program. The new agreement covers the use of BioSeek's unique BioMAP® Systems human primary cell assay platform to help predict the biological activity and potential toxicity of up to 60,000 additional samples, including environmental chemicals, pesticides, failed pharmaceuticals and nanomaterials.
Under the agreement, BioSeek will receive up to $46,770,000 over the next five years for testing up to 60,000 samples. The specific value of the award will depend on the volume of testing required during the contract period. The company's previous contract with the EPA awarded in 2007 was for up to $12.8 million over five years.
"Our partnership with EPA under the ToxCast™ program has been a highly productive relationship with well over 1,000 samples, including chemicals, failed pharmaceutical compounds and nanomaterials analyzed to date. These chemicals included 135 failed pharmaceutical compounds donated by six of the EPA's pharmaceutical company partners. Thus, we view this new and greatly expanded contract as a strong validation of our BioMAP® Systems technology," said Ellen Berg, Ph.D., General Manager of BioSeek.
"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. 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," Dr. Berg added.
The results from the ToxCast™ program are aiding the EPA in prioritizing chemicals with the greatest potential health threat for additional, more detailed testing in a cost-effective, efficient manner.
BioMAP® assays are human primary cell-based assays that read out a unique signature of biological activity for every active compound including both drug candidates and a wide range of chemicals. Using proprietary computational algorithms, the BioMAP® platform compares test compounds to a proprietary reference database containing data on over 3,000 experimental and approved drugs. The result provides users with actionable data at every stage of the discovery and development process, including lead selection, lead optimization, mechanism of action studies, toxicity profiling, and nomination of candidates for preclinical development. With over 35 cell-based disease models current available within the BioMAP® systems platform, BioSeek is continually working with its partners to expand the platform to new cell types and disease areas.
About the US EPA ToxCastTM Program
The U.S. EPA ToxCastTM Program is developing approaches to predict potential chemical toxicity using data from high-throughput and high content in vitro assays. The goal of ToxCastTM is to develop and verify "toxicity signatures," which are algorithms using in vitro and in silico data to predict in vivo toxicities. Phases I and II of ToxCastTM have produced data from over 1000 chemicals and test materials, providing a powerful dataset for evaluating the applicability of various analytic approaches for predicting the potential for an adverse response. In Phase III, ToxCastTM will expand the list to thousands of environmental chemicals, delivering an affordable, science-based system for decision-makers to prioritize chemicals for more detailed toxicological evaluations. For more information, visit http://www.epa.gov/ncct/toxcast.
BioSeek, LLC, located in South San Francisco, California, is a drug discovery services company that applies human primary cell assays and predictive disease models to the discovery and development of human therapeutics and safer chemicals. BioSeek improves the success rate of drug discovery and development by integrating human biology from the earliest stages of drug discovery onward through its unique BioMAP® platform. Our mission is to accelerate drug compound validation and enable our clients to take safer and more effective products into the market. Founded in 2000, BioSeek has established a leadership position by combining proprietary technologies and extensive know-how for pre-clinical modeling of human biology. For more information about our company please visit our website at http://www.bioseekinc.com. For more information about the BioMAP® platform, visit http://www.biomapsystems.com.
SOURCE BioSeek, LLC