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Nov 7, 2006

Toxicogenomics Tool Released that May Ease the Stress of Preclinical Decision Making

  • Affymetrix and Iconix Biosciences launched the ToxFX™ Analysis Suite, a toxicogenomics solution that improves researchers’ understanding of safety issues associated with new drug candidates, compounds, or environmental toxicants, according to the firms. ToxFX combines Iconix’ automated analysis with Affymetrix’ GeneChip® arrays.

    “We have consistently heard from the toxicology community that analysis of the data is the single largest barrier to applying toxicogenomics as a standard screening tool in drug development programs,” notes Don Halbert, Ph.D., executive vp of R&D at Iconix Biosciences. “The ToxFX Analysis Suite offers the distilled toxicogenomic experience of our specialized Iconix scientists and the context of our comprehensive DrugMatrix reference data set in an easy-to-use and affordable product.”

    Obtaining a full compound safety profile using classical toxicology methods requires a series of individual assays that take weeks or months to perform. The entire ToxFX analysis process, according to the companies, can be completed in as little as three days following sample collection, and the report itself is generated and transmitted within minutes after the experiment is finished. Dr. Halbert says that the technology “will help scientists prioritize drug candidates and make preclinical development decisions quickly and with more relevant information than ever before.”

    The ToxFX Analysis Suite generates a safety profile that can diagnose or predict more than 50 toxicological outcomes. It also examines the gene expression changes in 22 of the most relevant biological pathways, offering an early understanding of the potential underlying mechanisms of toxicity.

    Researchers perform the molecular analysis by generating gene expression data from rat samples on either the GeneChip Rat ToxFX 1.0 Array or the Rat Genome 230 2.0 Array. The data is then compared to the Iconix Drug Signatures® and pathway response libraries and cross-referenced to identify matches to known toxicological responses. A toxicity profile report is then generated for the compound based on this information.



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