Skip Navigation

Agilent Technologies and Johns Hopkins University to Research Novel Toxicity Pathways for Embryonic Brain Development Using Metabolomics

Thomas HartungAgilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) and the Agilent Foundation today announced that Dr. Thomas Hartung has received an Agilent Thought Leader Award in support of his research for the use of toxicity pathways to predict developmental neurotoxicity. This work could help identify possible contributions of chemicals to disorders such as autism and attention hyperactivity disorders. Dr. Hartung recently was named a leading toxicologist by the science journal Nature.

The award includes Agilent Foundation funding for research and a company donation of instruments worth more than $500,000 to the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT), part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Hartung, director of CAAT, will focus his research on the identification of novel toxicity pathways by combining two promising cell culture models with emerging metabolomics technology.

“This award makes cutting edge technology available for a project in the core of implementing the vision of a new regulatory toxicology,” says Hartung. “Problems of the 21st century can only be solved with 21st century technologies.”

“The information we need to fully understand the toxic effects of chemicals on humans cannot be obtained using traditional animal models. We are not 70-kilogram rats,” adds Hartung.

The identified pathways will be annotated in a public database the scientific community can use for further mechanistic studies. This will be of particular benefit to the pharmaceutical and chemical industry to assist with identifying how drug compounds and chemicals interact with human biochemical pathways. In the case of drug development, this information will allow for better toxicological assessment of promising drug lead compounds at early preclinical stages, reducing costs and time.

The field of toxicology is undergoing rapid change prompted by the 2007 National Research Council’s report, ‘Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy.’ The report aims to move toxicity testing to work with human cells and computer modeling instead of animal tests to improve the prediction of human adverse effects. This is considered the way forward to assess the tens of thousands of yet untested chemicals in the environment and consumer products. The study supported with the award is piloting this approach.

“The research will have great impact on the field of toxicology by performing a proof of principle study for the use of toxicity pathways to predict developmental neurotoxicity,” said Mark Vossenaar, senior director of strategic marketing for Agilent’s Life Sciences Group. “Working closely with one of the leading research institutions in the world, we believe the results will demonstrate the feasibility of LC/MS based metabolomics in toxicity studies.”

Agilent’s new Thought Leader Program promotes fundamental advances in the life sciences by contributing financial support, products and/or expertise to the research of influential thought leaders.

New ALTEX: 2/2018

ALTEX cover 51
 

Support ALTWEB, Make a Gift
Online Humane Science Course

MeetingS

 
Building a Better Epithelium: New Frontiers in 3D Conference
April 25, 2019
Cambridge, MA

CellTox 2019
May 7, 2019
Milano, Italy

Biosystems Engineering: Bioreactors and Cell Factories
May 12-17, 2019
Braunweld, Switzerland

ALTERTOX Academy Training:
In Vitro Exposure Systems and Dosimetry Assessment Tools for Inhalation Toxicology
May 23-24, 2019
Neuchatel, Switzerland

6th Symposium on Social Housing of Laboratory Animals
June 3-4, 2019
Beltsville, Maryland

Society for In Vitro Biology Annual Meeting
June 8-12, 2019
Tampa, Florida

Upcoming: CAAT-Europe Information Day On Biology-inspired Microphysiological Systems (MPS) to Advance Medicines for Patients' Benefit
June 17, 2019
Berlin, Germany

ALTERTOX Academy Training:
PBPK Modeling and Quantitative In Vitro-In Vivo Extrapolation
October 3-4, 2019
Wageningen, Netherlands

ALTERTOX Academy Training:
Novel In Silico Models for Assessment of Cosmetics
October 17-18, 2019
Milan, Italy

ALTERTOX Academy Training:
In Vitro Lung Models
November 14-15, 2019
Geneva, Switzerland

Save the Date!
5th International Conference on Alternatives for Developmental Neurotoxicity (DNT) Testing
February 3-5, 2020
Konstanz, Germany

Full Listing of CAAT Programs
and Activities