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Transform Tox Testing Challenge Stage 2

Innovating for Metabolism

Environmental Protection Agency

Total Cash Prizes Offered: $500,000
Type of Challenge: Scientific



For full challenge details, please download the Transform Tox Testing Challenge Brief (pdf).

NOTE: Stage 2 of the Challenge is only open to semi-finalists who have been awarded a Stage 1 prize.

Challenge Summary

Out of thousands of chemicals in use today, very few have been fully evaluated for potential health risks.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), and the National Toxicology Program (NTP), headquartered at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) are pleased to announce the upcoming launch of the Transform Tox Testing Challenge.

Scientists from EPA, NTP and NCATS have used high-throughput screening (HTS) assays to evaluate the potential health effects of thousands of chemicals. The Transform Tox Testing Challenge: Innovating for Metabolism is calling on innovative thinkers to find new ways to incorporate physiological levels of xenobiotic metabolism into HTS assays. Since current HTS assays do not fully incorporate xenobiotic metabolism, they may miss chemicals that are metabolized to a more toxic form. Adding metabolic competence to HTS assays will help researchers more accurately assess chemical effects and better protect human health.

We are looking for innovative technological solutions to retrofit these assays to allow both chemicals and their metabolite products to be evaluated. We have the potential to transform chemical testing methods to make them more relevant to real life and more effective at predicting health effects.

The second stage of the Challenge is open to semi-finalists who have been awarded a Stage 1 Prize. Semi-finalists will be asked to bring their designs to life by: meeting a general level of performance, technically characterizing the metabolic 'competence' of their system, and functionally characterizing their system in a series of pilot screens. Up to five finalists will be selected and awarded a prize of $100,000 each. For more details, download the Transform Tox Testing Challenge Brief (pdf).

In the first stage of the Challenge, semi-finalists submitted practical designs for how HTS assays could be retrofitted to include xenobiotic metabolic competence. Ten submissions were selected as semi-finalists, awarded a prize of $10,000 each, and invited to participate in the next stage of the challenge.


Finalist 1: $100,000

Finalist 2: $100,000

Finalist 3: $100,000

Finalist 4: $100,000

Finalist 5: $100,000