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£100k awarded to develop an in silico tool to predict thyroid receptor-mediated endocrine disruption

29 March 2023

Funding for 18 months has been awarded to a team at KREATiS led by Dr Paul Thomas to deliver the CRACK IT Challenge Thyroid Tox1.

Sponsored by Shell and Syngenta, this Challenge aims to develop an in silico tool to predict endocrine disruption that occurs via the thyroid receptor and reduce the reliance on animals used for thyroid receptor endpoints in reproductive and developmental toxicity studies.

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can affect the normal function of the endocrine system through interacting with receptors such as the thyroid hormone receptor. In vitro testing followed by extensive animal testing are required for the assessment of endocrine modalities and chemical safety regulations. For thyroid receptor-mediated endocrine disruption, in vitro thyroid receptor assays are limited or lack full validation and in vivo reproductive and developmental toxicology studies for thyroid receptor endpoints use large numbers of animals and are invasive, time-consuming and expensive.

The KREATiS team of expert modellers and toxicologists will develop user-friendly quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) and molecular docking tools to predict the interaction of chemicals with the human thyroid alpha and beta receptors2.

Learn more about the Thyroid Tox Challenge.


1 CRACK IT Challenges is the NC3Rs' open innovation funding competition, which brings together industry, academia and SMEs to deliver ready-to-use products and services that replace, reduce and refine animal use. Challenges are developed in collaboration with Sponsors who provide in-kind contributions and/or co-funding to support development of the Challenge product.

Challenges may consist of one or two phases, with Single Phase Challenges typically focusing on technologies that are closer to market, require less research or have lower development costs than Two Phase Challenges.

Further information about the CRACK IT Challenges and competition process can be found on the NC3Rs Innovation Platform

2 The KREATiS team is led by Dr Paul Thomas and supported by model developers Dr Zlatomir Todorov, Dr Emel Ay Albrecht, Dr Franklin Bauer and toxicologist Dr Carole Charmeau.