May 29, 2012

Agilent to Accelerate Development in Toxicology Testing with Funding from NIH Grant

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) and a team of scientists and investigators from six leading research organizations, are using a $6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to pioneer transformative research in toxicology.

The consortium has been funded to map and provide quantitative dose-response models for selected pathways of toxicity. Its goal is to establish a public data resource to share the results of new testing strategies for assessing human health risks.

The project is initially focusing on endocrine disruption pathways as a first step toward mapping the complete human toxome. This effort will, in turn, improve accuracy, while lowering costs and reducing the time needed to predict the toxicity of new compounds.

Agilent will develop and contribute to the consortium new strategies for data management as well as software for data analysis and visualization. This software will be built using Agilent's GeneSpring multi-omics analysis platform. In addition, much of the data will be collected using Agilent microarrays and mass spectrometers.

Gustavo Salem, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Biological Systems Division, said, "The NIH award to the consortium underscores the importance of major stakeholders working together to create this community resource and ultimately to advance toxicity testing. Agilent is committed to this vision. Our expertise in bioinformatics software and bioanalytical platforms will provide the tools for the consortium to collect, organize, share and analyze the generated data in conjunction with established databases of biochemical and toxicological knowledge."

The consortium is led by Dr. Thomas Hartung, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing. Agilent's lead investigator is Dr. Michael Rosenberg, director bioinformatics in the company's Life Sciences Group.

The other principal investigators include:
  • James Yager, professor in preventive medicine, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
  • Robert Kavlock, director of the National Center for Computational Toxicology at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Mel Andersen, associate director of the Hamner Institute for Health Sciences.
  • Kim Boekelheide, professor of medical sciences at Brown University.
  • Albert J. Fornace, Jr., molecular cancer research chair at Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center.

Funding for the project comes from the Common Fund's NIH Director's Transformative Research Projects Program, which is designed to support exceptionally innovative, high-risk, original and/or unconventional research that has the potential to create or overturn fundamental scientific paradigms. More information on the NIH Transformative Research Projects Award can be found at, including information on this year's awardees.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world's premier measurement company and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences, electronics and communications. The company's 18,700 employees serve customers in more than 100 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $6.6 billion in fiscal 2011. Information about Agilent is available at

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