The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the beginning of a new "high-speed robotic screening system" to evaluate the potential human toxicity of 10,000 different compounds on December 7, 2011. The new screening system, known as "Tox21," is part of a collaboration between NIH, US EPA, and the US Food and Drug Administration. The vast array of compounds to be screened under the new Tox21 program are found in consumer products, food additives, industrial process chemicals, and human and veterinary drugs, and include some formulations and mixtures of various compounds. A complete list of the compounds is available here.
According to NIH, the "goal of the testing is to provide results that will be useful for evaluating if these chemicals have the potential to disrupt processes in the human body to an extent that leads to adverse health effects. ... The development of methods for evaluating chemical toxicity has the potential to revolutionize the assessment of new environmental chemicals and the development of new drugs for therapeutic use."
According to NIH's Center for Translational Therapeutics (NCTT) housed at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), "Drug toxicity is one of the primary reasons that the development of new drugs fails and approved drugs are removed from the market, and the ability to better predict toxicity would improve the efficiency of drug development enormously." According to US EPA's Office of Research and Development, "the Tox21 partnership integrates revolutionary advances in molecular biology, chemistry, and computer science, to quickly and cost-effectively screen the thousands of chemicals in use today. ... The innovative robotics screening technology will generate chemical toxicity data that EPA has never had before." The Tox21 screening results will be publicly-available thrugh NIH and EPA chemical toxicity databases, and a Tox21 chemical inventory browser is publicly available here.