KALAMAZOO — CeeTox Inc., a Kalamazoo-based life sciences company, has been awarded a contract with a maximum value of $25.9 million over a year — with four additional one-year options, bringing the total possible award to $129.6 million — from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The contract is part of the EPA’s ongoing ToxCast program, launched in 2007 to develop a cost-effective approach for prioritizing and testing the thousands of chemicals that need toxicity assessment. CeeTox will use advanced tools to help the EPA understand how human body processes are affected by exposure to chemicals and which chemicals are likely to be toxic.
CeeTox, founded in 2003, is a contract research organization focused on in vitro toxicity and safety screening of new products including drug candidates, medical devices, cosmetics, personal care products, agricultural chemicals and household chemicals. In vitro typically refers to a test that is performed in cell cultures instead of in or on an animal.
CeeTox was chosen through an open, competitive request-for-proposal process and awarded the ToxCast contract based on excellence in four areas: technical proposal, qualifications of personnel, quality assurance-quality control program and past performance. As a result of the award, the company plans to add staff at its Kalamazoo facility, including project managers, scientists and support staff, over the five-year period of the contract.
Said Tim Mitchell, president of CeeTox: “The ToxCast Program will ultimately help us better understand and mitigate the toxic effects of chemicals in our world.”
Mitchell said that of the tens of thousands of chemicals in use today, EPA reports that only a small fraction have been adequately assessed for potential risk. The current testing methods, mostly requiring the use of animals, are simply too expensive and time-consuming to allow for adequate, in-depth screening. Once fully implemented, ToxCast will help identify, in a fast, cost-effective manner those compounds that are dangerous to humans.
More at www.ceetox.com.