Toxicogenomics combines toxicology with genomics and tries to use the expression patterns of genes and proteins in cells to predict potential toxic effects of substances for which no reliable in vitro assay exists. By comparing the gene expression profile of known toxins with that of new substances, it is possible to advance hypotheses on types of toxicity that are otherwise difficult to test, particularly organ-specific toxicity. Toxicogenomics is still an experimental technology with a highly empirical nature, but is very useful to guide further testing when a suspect signal is found and to raise early awareness of potential safety issues of a research substance.

Tags: Drug Safety, Informatics-based Technologies