Newly published research demonstrates the ability of BioMAP Systems, a unique set of primary human cell and co-culture assays that model human disease and pathway biology, to identify important safety aspects of drugs and chemicals more efficiently and accurately than can be achieved by animal testing. Data from BioMAP Systems analysis of 776 environmental chemicals, including reference pharmaceuticals and failed drugs, on their ability to disrupt physiologically important human biological pathways were published online this week in Nature Biotechnology. The results show that this in vitro approach can reproducibly identify potential toxicities and off-target drug effects, as well as pinpoint cellular mechanisms and specifically affected biomarker endpoints underlying specific types of adverse reactions in humans. DiscoveRx Corporation’s BioSeek division conducted the analysis in collaboration with scientists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of the EPA ToxCast Program.
Assessing the safety aspects of drugs, consumer products and environmental chemicals has been historically undertaken through animal testing. However, the vast number of chemicals needing such toxicological assessment and the fact that results in animals often do not translate well to results in humans require the development of alternative, faster, more accurate and humane testing approaches.
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