Agency will assist in prioritizing chemicals for toxicological evaluation and develop models for predicting human response.

The FDA has joined the EPA, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences National Toxicology Program (NTP), and the National Institute of Health Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC) in the Tox21 collaboration. The partnership, established in 2008, merges federal agency resources such as research, funding, and testing tools to develop methods to more effectively predict how chemicals will affect human health and the environment.

FDA will provide additional expertise and chemical safety information to improve current chemical testing methods. It will help prioritize chemicals that need more extensive toxicological evaluation and develop models that can better predict human response to chemicals.

“This partnership builds upon FDA’s commitment to developing new methods to evaluate the toxicity of the substances we regulate,” notes Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

“This collaboration is revolutionizing the current approach to chemical risk assessment by sharing expertise, capabilities, and chemical information, which will lead to both a faster and deeper understanding of chemical hazards,” according to Paul Anastas, Ph.D., assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “Through the Tox21 collaboration, 2,000 chemicals have already been screened against dozens of biological targets and we are working to increase the number of chemicals to 10,000 by the end of the year.”

EPA contributes to Tox21 through the ToxCast program and by providing chemicals and additional fast, automated tests to NCGC. ToxCast currently includes 500 chemical screening tests that have assessed over 300 environmental chemicals.

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