Report: Software makers can aid Tox21 work

In silico technology providers could be assets to Tox21, the federal collaboration that's developing ways to predict via modeling how chemicals will affect human health. The FDA just joined the group, which was formed by the EPA, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Institute of Health.

"Vendors that specialize in the development of computer-based drug-human simulations also need to get involved, as their rare skill set can add real value to the collaboration and accelerate the program," writes Ruchi Mallya, pharmaceutical technology analyst for Ovum Health Care Life Sciences, in Ovum's Straight Talk service bulletin.

"The Tox21 collaboration is willing to work with industry leaders if the partnership helps reach the goals of Tox21," says an EPA spokesperson via email. "Several software modeling companies are carrying out analyses on the ToxCast/Tox21 data sets as scientific collaborations."

Other software makers are interested. "We'd be very interested in participating," says CambridgeSoft marketing director Irwin Schreiman. "If they're looking for corporate partners for software help, or a way to get data shared among teams, we'd be happy to talk."

Accelrys sees a fit, too. "We're currently providing the Pipeline Pilot informatics platform to the FDA for exactly the same purposes discussed in the Tox21 initiative," says Robert Walker, senior director for government programs at Accelrys, via email. It's no trivial task to manage the volume and complexity of data generated through research, development and assessment," he adds. "The government needs to take advantage of the commercially available tools because it is important that we start developing a common standard that is support and maintained."

Industry participation under the Tox21 collaboration is not paid, says the EPA, but participants have access to the data and comparisons that result, a nice incentive for drugmakers to provide drugs and clinical data.

- here's the bulletin

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