Sleepless in Seattle: An update from the World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences

Our experts will be working round-the-clock in Seattle this week at the World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences! Over the next several days, staff from The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International & The Humane Society Legislative Fund will be at the vanguard of the discussion at this global event that brings together the world’s foremost experts on animal testing alternatives & animal welfare from industry, government, non-profits & academia.

Are you in Seattle, too? Please visit us at our booth (#309) and plan to attend the following events! Somewhere else in the world? Check out what we’re up to below and view the World Congress program.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 20

• 10:00 a.m. – noon
“Introduction to Adverse Outcome Pathways and the AOP Wiki” Satellite Meeting
Sheraton Seattle, Aspen Room
10:00 a.m. Introduction to the OECD AOP Programme and Online Training course – Kate Willett, Human Toxicology Project Council
10:40 a.m. Building AOPs for Neurotoxicity: Perspective from an Academic – Ellen Fritsche, IUF – Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine
11:20 a.m. Demonstration and Hands-On Activity with AOP Wiki – Kristie Sullivan, Physicians Committee for Responsibility MedicineSponsors: Human Toxicology Project Consortium and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

MONDAY, AUGUST 21

• 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
“Tracking the successful implementation of Tox21 principles.”
Room 6ABC, Board number A43
Poster presenter Vicki Katrinak looks at how the chemical safety testing landscape has changed over the past ten years, as toxicologists embrace new, non-animal testing strategies.

• 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
“Legislative process toward animal testing bans for cosmetics in Brazil.”
Room 6ABC, Board number A44
Poster presenter Antoniana Ottoni discusses how the Brazilian authorities aim to implement validated alternative, non-animal tests for commonly used toxicological endpoints and reviews plans to ensure the regulations are updated before the deadline of 2019.

• 2:00 p.m.
“Implications of the Recent 2016 Amendment of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) on the Development and Implementation of Non-Animal Methods.”
Session II-2: Government Driven Legislation – EDSP/TSCA; 1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.; Rooms 613-614
Speaker Catherine Willett will explain how animal testing could actually increase under the new chemical safety act, and describe how co-ordinated efforts are needed to exploit non-vertebrate models and other evaluation tools to prevent this.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 22

• 10:30 a.m.
“Challenges in implementing the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act: A perspective covering stakeholders, the U.S. Congress and the current Administration.”
Session IX-4: Global Regulatory Updates; 10:00 a.m. – noon; Room 607
Speaker: Sara Amundson

• 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
“Modeling the human airways: from physiology to pathology.”
Room 6ABC, Board number A65
Poster presenter Lindsay Marshall shows how laboratory models using human cells can be used to look at the function of healthy airways and demonstrates that the models can be adapted to enable the study of airways disease, such as cystic fibrosis.

• 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
“iPSC and 3D tissue technologies powerful alternatives to animal models for brain disease research”
Room 6ABC, Board number A77
Poster presenter Marcia Triunfol reports on an exciting, HSI-sponsored workshop held in Brazil earlier this year. Brazilian and international scientists discussed the potential for 21st century technologies to replace animals in brain research.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 23

• 12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
“A ‘bottom-up’ approach to accelerate new opportunities in alternatives and Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) practice in China”
Room 6ABC, Board number C81
Poster presenter Tina Qu reports on the progress made in promoting non-animal technologies in China, including the recent roll-out of an AOP-training program.

• 10:45 a.m.
“Towards a 21st-century roadmap for biomedical research and drug discovery”
Session IX-8: Global Efforts Moving Towards Replacement of Animals;
10:00 a.m. – noon; Rooms 619-620
Speaker Troy Seidle describes the application of pathways-based approaches to understand chemical safety and details how a series of workshops sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International have introduced this concept to other stakeholders – describing the main recommendations from these events.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 24

• 10:48 a.m.
“The Human Toxicology Project Consortium: a private-public partnership to promote development and acceptance of pathway-based science”
Session IX-6: 3Rs Communication and Advocacy; 10:00 a.m. – noon; Rooms 619-620
Speaker Catherine Willett will describe the work of the Human Toxicology Project Consortium (HTPC), which aims to advance a biological pathway-based approach to toxicology. She will explain how HTPC intends to achieve this through scientific activities, communication, and advocating for financial and legislative support.

• 11:45 a.m.
“Deletion of scientifically redundant animal test requirements in the agrochemical sector: the case of the 1-year dog study”
Session IV-1: Predictive Safety Approaches Role in the Design of Inherently Safer Chemicals; 10:00 a.m. – noon; Rooms 615-616
Speaker Marco Corvaro will explain how the ongoing global effort to end a test that has been proven redundant illustrates how challenging it can be to enact regulatory change. He will also discuss strategies to improve the use of modern approaches to testing and risk assessment.

• 11:46 a.m.
“A campaign to end invasive chimpanzee research and retire all chimpanzees to sanctuaries: successful strategies and lessons learned”
Session IX-6: 3Rs Communication and Advocacy; 10:00 a.m. – noon; Rooms 619-620
Speaker Kathleen Conlee will take us from 2006, when The Humane Society of the United States launched their campaign to end the use of chimpanzees in invasive research, to today where numbers of chimps in labs have dropped and research chimps are finally being retired to sanctuaries.

AOP tutorials AOPs non-animal tests toxicity testing alternatives toxicology World Congress on Alternatives

AOP learning opportunities at SOT 2017

The Human Toxicology Project Consortium will once again co-sponsor an Adverse Outcome Pathway-training at the Society of Toxicology’s (SOT) annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. On Tuesday, March 14, from 5:00PM-7:00PM, registrants can take part in our Hands-On Seminar: Creating an Adverse Outcome Pathway in the AOP Wiki, which HTPC is co-sponsoring with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM).

At this seminar, participants will have a chance to deepen their understanding of the AOP Wiki (Version 2.0) and gain experience entering an Adverse Outcome Pathway.  Attendees will work through a case example in small groups.  In addition, participants will get a preview of an online course on AOPs and the AOP-Wiki that will soon be available here on the HTPC website.

Agenda:

5:00-5:20: International Efforts to Identify, Standardize, and Apply AOPs (Kristie Sullivan, PCRM)

5:20-6:00: A New Online Course on Adverse Outcome Pathways (Catherine Willett, HTPC)

6:00-7:00: The AOP Wiki 2.0: Demonstration and hands-on exercise (Stephen Edwards, US EPA)

The seminar will take place in the Constellation Ballroom A – Hyatt Regency Baltimore, 300 Light Street.  Please register in advance with Kristie Sullivan at PCRM: ksullivan@pcrm.org

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At this SOT gathering, HTPC is also once again co-sponsoring (along with the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing [CAAT] and the Human Toxome Project) the well-regarded satellite meeting, Updates on Activities Related to 21st Century Toxicology and Related Efforts.  As always, the meeting will feature a number of invited presentations, but also leave time for an “open microphone” segment in which participants are welcome to give brief presentations on germane topics, with or without a few slides.  This satellite meeting takes place Thursday, March 16 from noon to 4:30PM at the Lord Baltimore Hotel.

The draft program is as follows:

12:30 Box lunch (for pre-registered participants) and welcome, Thomas Hartung (Johns Hopkins University)

13:00 Invited speakers (10 minute presentations each followed by 5 mins. of discussion)

  • ToxCast Update – Russell Thomas (US Environmental Protection Agency)
  • EDSP21 Update – Stanley Barone (US Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Tox21 Update – Richard Paules (US National Toxicology Program)
  • TT21C update – Rebecca Clewell (ScitoVision)
  • NICEATM Update – Nicole Kleinstreuer (NICEATM)
  • EU Tox-Risk Update – Robert van de Water (University of Tuebingen)
  • NAS Report on Using 21st Century Science to Improve Risk-Related Evaluations – TBD
  • Evidence-based Toxicology Update – Katya Tsaioun (EBT Johns Hopkins)
  • CAAT’s Read-across Initiative and Human Toxome-related Activity Update – Thomas Hartung (Johns Hopkins)
  • Human Toxicology Project Consortium Update – Catherine Willett (HTPC)

15:15 Open microphone for additional presentations and discussion

16:00 Adjourn

Box lunches will be available to those who have pre-registered. Contact Jamie DeRita.

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Also at this year’s SOT meeting, HTPC coordinator Catherine Willett will present a poster on HTPC’s soon-to-be-released online training course on adverse outcome pathways. Look for her poster, “Advancing the Development of Quality AOPs Submitted to OECD’s AOP Knowledge Base (AOP-KB) and the AOP-Wiki” during the Late Breaking Poster Session on Thursday, March 16, from 9:00AM to noon (late-breaking abstract #3441; Poster # P413).

AOP tutorials AOPs HTPC partners Meetings & Events

Human Toxicology Project Consortium at the Society of Toxicology meeting in New Orleans

You’ll find the Human Toxicology Project Consortium at the Society of Toxicology’s annual meeting in New Orleans next week – in the ToxExpo center, poster sessions, workshops, and seminars.

  • Visit HTPC’s informational booth at ToxExpo, booth #1704.
  • HTPC is co-sponsoring a “hands-on” seminar, “Creating an Adverse Outcome Pathway in the AOP Wiki,” on Tuesday, March 15, from 5-7PM in the Hilton Riverside.  More details about the seminar can be found here.
  • HTPC is also once again co-sponsoring and presenting at the annual SOT Satellite Meeting, Updates on Activities Related to 21st Century Toxicology and Related Efforts: Invited Presentations and Open Microphone, on Thursday, March 17, 12:30 PM to 4:00 PM, Hilton New Orleans Riverside, Jefferson Ballroom. As always, this informative meeting features a number of invited presentations, and also allows time for an “open microphone” segment in which participants are welcome to give brief presentations on germane topics.

The draft program is as follows:

12:30 PM—Box Lunch (for pre-registered participants) and Welcome by Thomas Hartung, Johns Hopkins University

1:00 PM—Invited Speakers (10 minute presentations each followed by 5 minute of discussion)

ToxCast Update: Russell Thomas, US Environmental Protection Agency

EDSP21 Update: David Dix, US Environmental Protection Agency

Tox21 Update: Richard Paules, US National Toxicology Program

Hamner TT21C Update: Melvin Andersen, Hamner Institutes

NICEATM Update: Warren Casey, NICEATM

SEURAT/EU Tox-Risk Update: Michael Schwarz, University of Tuebingen

CAAT’s Read-Across Initiative and Human Toxome-Related Activity Update: Thomas Hartung, Johns Hopkins

Human Toxicology Project Consortium Update: Catherine Willett, HTPC

Evidence-Based Toxicology Update: Martin Stephens, Johns Hopkins

3:15 PM—Open Microphone for Additional Presentations and Discussion

4:00 PM—Adjourn

  • Kate Willett will also present a poster in the Regulation and Policy session, Wednesday, March 16, 1:15 PM to 4:45 PM: “Regulatory Acceptance of Non-standard Toxicological Methods through Increased use of Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment (IATA)” (Abstract #3003/Poster #P143).

Corporate members and partners of HTPC will be presenting at SOT next week, as well.  Scientists from each of the member corporations are coauthors on the following posters:

alternative toxicity testing AOPs CAAT computational toxicology Dow EPA ExxonMobil HTPC members in the news HTPC partners L'Oreal P&G regulatory toxicology Tox21 ToxCast Unilever

Educational Infographic produced by the Human Toxicology Project Consortium

THE FUTURE OF TOXICITY TESTINGHTP_infographic_FINAL_revised

A new infographic produced by the Human Toxicology Project Consortium shows in three sections how the future of toxicity testing promises a steady reduction in testing costs, increases in human relevance and confidence in safety assessments, and the eventual elimination of animal tests.

The first section provides a snapshot comparison of the current and future costs, efficiency and efficacy of toxicity testing, while the mid portion uses pesticide testing as a specific example of now, vs near-future, vs the optimal approach that, given the focus and resources necessary, will be envisioned within the decade.

The near-future and optimal approaches rely increasingly on our understanding of biology and using it to build a predictive systems biology platform that is comprised of an interrelated network of biological pathways. This platform is used to design and interpret tests that provide much more efficient and effective characterization of chemical activity that can be used to predict safe use of chemicals.

Finally, the results of this progression are captured in the summary graphic at the end – decreasing costs, animal use and time while human relevance and our confidence in safety decisions continue to improve.

As explained on our Project page, the Human Toxicology Project Consortium works on three areas critical for the successful, international implementation of a pathways-based approach to chemical safety testing: advancing the science, communicating the purpose and goals of pathway-based toxicology, and lobbying for funding and policy changes that will support pathway-based approaches in the US and around the world.

To advance our communication and education efforts, HTPC member organizations worked together to create this infographic, to quickly and effectively illustrate the differences between traditional animal-based toxicity testing and pathway-based testing in terms of predictive power, cost, and testing capacity.

Details on the numbers used in this comparison are available here (PDF).

alternative toxicity testing AOPs computational toxicology databases drug discovery EPA HTPC members in the news non-animal tests non-predictive animal models pathway-based approaches regulatory toxicology ToxCast toxicity testing alternatives

A new paper applies pathway biology to disease research and drug discovery

“Lessons from Toxicology: Developing a 21st-Century Paradigm for Medical Research,” a new paper by a team of international experts including authors from Human Toxicology Project Consortium partners Humane Society International, The Humane Society of the United States, and Unilever, calls for a systems-biology approach to biomedical research and drug discovery. The approach borrows insights from toxicology, where adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) – a framework for documenting the physiological path between chemical exposure and “adverse outcomes” such as illness, injury, or environmental harm – are being used to integrate data from a variety of new scientific technologies. The authors propose that this same framework can be expanded to disease research, and can greatly improve our ability to identify effective drugs and therapeutics.

“…[M]any human illnesses such as cancers, diabetes, immune system and neurodegenerative disorders, and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases are caused by a complicated interplay between multiple genetic and environmental factors,” the authors write. Technology developments over the last two decades have made it possible to measure how genes determine our susceptibility to diseases, as well as how genes, proteins, cells, and tissues react to various environmental exposures. Application of such developments to drug discovery “require(s) a new research paradigm to unlock their full potential.” Just as AOPs integrate these new types of information to help reveal toxicity mechanisms and protect people and the environment from potential effects of chemical exposure, disease pathways can be used to understand risk and disease mechanisms, leading to more effective cures. According to the authors, “The disease AOP approach would better exploit advanced experimental and computational platforms for knowledge discovery, since the emergence of AOP networks will identify knowledge gaps and steer investigations accordingly.”

Progress in disease research and drug discovery has been slow, the authors say, because of continued reliance on inappropriate and unproductive animal models. The AOP framework encourages the use of emerging human-specific cell- and tissue-based models – such as 3D tissue constructs and organs-on-chips – combined with increasingly advanced computational models. The powerful combination can accelerate our understanding of disease, while reducing the use of animals.

The paper was published in the open access journal, Environmental Health Perspectives: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/wp-content/uploads/123/11/ehp.1510345.alt.pdf

3D cell & tissue culture alternative toxicity testing AOPs drug discovery HTPC members in the news pathway-based approaches