BioSeek, a drug discovery services company based in San Francisco, has been awarded a significant new contract extending and expanding the company's collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the EPA ToxCast screening program.
The new agreement covers the use of BioSeek's 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 new agreement, BioSeek will receive up to $46,770,000 over the next five years. 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, general manager, BioSeek.
Berg continued, "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.”
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.