image of a guinea pig

HTPC co-sponsors training in non-animal cosmetics testing

HTPC is co-sponsoring an important training program coordinated by the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS) and Humane Society International (HSI), to introduce Chinese scientists and regulators to non-animal methods for cosmetics testing.  As part of the program, scientists will receive hands-on training in state-of-the-art in vitro methods that replace traditional tests on rabbits and guinea pigs.

Organized through China’s Guangdong Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, HSI and the IIVS’s training aims to help fill this knowledge gap, making the option to move away from animal testing a practical alternative. China’s consumer and science sectors have much to gain from such a transition – animal toxicity tests are some of the least scientifically credible methods still in use. Indeed, when you consider the scale of uncertainty associated with some of these approaches, it’s astonishing that in so many countries and across so many sectors we’re still gambling consumer safety on methods that were devised in the 1940s.

Read more about the program in this article by Troy Seidle (HSI).

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Enthusiastic turnout for CAAT/HTPC satellite meeting at SOT 2014


Getting exhausted participants to attend a satellite meeting at the end of the three-and-a-half-day ultra-marathon that is a Society of Toxicology annual meeting would seem to be a tough sell.  But nearly 80 turned out for the CAAT/HTPC meeting, “Updates on 21st Century Toxicology Activities and Related Efforts” in Phoenix, AZ.  Thomas Hartung (CAAT) welcomed attendees, and gave a brief history of this now-annual event, and outlined the afternoon’s agenda.  Updates on specific programs and activities were provided by David Dix (various EPA programs), Rusty Thomas (Toxcast), Alex Merrick (Tox21), Mel Anderson (The Hamner Institute’s efforts), Mark Cronin (SEURAT-1), Thomas Hartung (CAAT’s Human Toxome project), Kate Willett  (HTPC and HSUS activities), and Martin Stephens (CAAT’s Evidence-Based Toxicology Consortium activities).  At the end of the invited presentations, the floor was opened to questions, discussions, and brief updates on relevant projects or activities from those in attendance.  The enthusiastic turnout demonstrates that interest and participation in the 21st century “paradigm shift” in toxicology continues to grow.

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Successful “AOPs 101” ancillary workshop at SOT 2014

AOPs 101: the How and Why of Development and Use,” the ancillary program co-sponsored and organized by HTPC and ASCCT, was a perfect fit for this year’s SOT conference.  With an unprecedented number of Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP)-related sessions and symposia on the 2014 Scientific Program, the workshop’s aim to introduce AOP fundamentals to scientists not yet familiar with the concept was successful: the 60 or so attendees asked many insightful questions and were clearly appreciative in comments following the presentations.  Program presentations covering the fundamentals of AOP construction and potential applications, as well as summaries of three case studies of AOPs currently or recently under development, are available below:

Kristie Sullivan – What are AOPs?

Catherine Willett – Why are AOPs important, and how can they be useful?

Terry Schultz – AOPs: Getting Started

Nicole Kleinstreuer – Constructing AOPs for Developmental Toxicities

Grace Patlewicz – Development of an AOP for Skin Sensitization and Practical Applications (slides here)

Mathieu Vinkin – Development and Use of Hepatic AOPs in the SEURAT Project Cluster

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HTPC liver toxicity workshop proceedings published in ALTEX, “Online First”

Building Shared Experience to Advance Practical Application of Pathway-Based Toxicology:Liver Toxicity Mode-of-Action,” a report summarizing a workshop coordinated by HTPC in 2013, and co-authored by workshop participants, has been published by ALTEX in “Online First.”  From the summary:

A workshop sponsored by the Human Toxicology Project Consortium (HTPC), “Building Shared Experience to Advance Practical Application of Pathway-Based Toxicology: Liver Toxicity Mode-of-Action”brought together experts from a wide range of perspectives to inform the process of pathway development and to advance two prototype pathways initially developed by the European Commission Joint Research Center (JRC): liver-specific fibrosis and steatosis. The first half of the workshop focused on the theory and practice of pathway development; the second on liver disease and the two prototype pathways. Participants agreed pathway development is extremely useful for organizing information and found that focusing the theoretical discussion on a specific AOP is extremely helpful. In addition, it is important to include several perspectives during pathway development, including information specialists, pathologists, human health and environmental risk assessors, and chemical and product manufacturers, to ensure the biology is well captured and end use is considered.


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“Advancing AOPs for Integrated Toxicology and Regulatory Applications”

kw talk slide 1Human Toxicology Project Consortium Coordinator Catherine Willett was in Italy last week to take part in “Advancing AOPs for Integrated Toxicology and Regulatory Applications.”  Co-sponsored by a broad range of stakeholders*  and organized by the European Commission, US Army Corps and US EPA, this workshop was designed to build on the advancements of two previous workshops, “A Vision and Strategy for Predictive Ecotoxicology in the 21st Century: Defining Adverse Outcome Pathways Associated with Ecological Risk” (SETAC Pellston, Forest Grove, OR, 2009) and “Development of alternatives to chronic ecotoxicity tests: predicting early life stage and endocrine-mediated toxicity in aquatic vertebrate species” (ILSI-HESI, Paris, France, 2010).  Like the previous workshops, this one brought together dozens of scientists representing industry, academia, government, and non-governmental organizations from around the world.  The goal was for participants to develop specific approaches for the regulatory application of AOPs, focusing on how to use AOPs to understand and reduce uncertainties in the risk assessment process, and to support Informed Approaches to Testing and Assessment.

Workshop organizers anticipate that the discussions will form the basis for symposia at the upcoming SETAC Europe 24th Annual Meeting (May 2014) and SETAC North America 35th Annual Meeting (November 2014), and will also generate one or more open access journal articles.

Update: The slides for Dr. Willett’s presentation, “Animal Welfare Perspective on Pathway-based Approaches to Safety Assessment,” can be downloaded here (PDF).

*Co-sponsors included Environment Canada, Humane Society of the United States, United States Environmental Protection Agency, ILSI-HESI, BioDetection, European Commission – Joint Research Centre, Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals (ECETOC), American Chemistry Council, and Italian – Regional EPA.

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SOT Ancillary Workshops on Adverse Outcome Pathways

The HTPC and the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology are coordinating two Ancillary Workshops on Adverse Outcome Pathways at the Society of Toxicology’s Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.

“AOPs 101: The How and Why of Development and Use” will compliment several presentations on Adverse Outcome Pathways at the SOT meeting, and is intended for those scientists who are not yet familiar with the AOP concept but would like to learn to apply it to their own work or to become involved in ongoing projects.  An overview of “what, why, and how” will be given according to the latest existing international guidance, and several experts will present case studies for AOPs that have been or are currently being developed through a variety of approaches.

Hyatt Regency Phoenix, 50 E Adams St.
Tuesday, March 25, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Ballroom A

“Development of a Knowledge Base for Quantitative Modeling of Adverse Outcome Pathways: Stakeholder Input Sessions” will be offered in three interactive, participatory sessions intended to elicit a wide variety of stakeholder input (industry, regulatory, academic, or non-profit sectors) on the required characteristics of tools currently being developed to capture and model quantitative elements of Adverse Outcome Pathways in a visual, “wiki” platform. The AOP-KB will incorporate the existing AOP Wiki developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the EC Joint Research Centre along with Effectopedia, which was originally conceived for this purpose by the International QSAR Foundation; its further development and integration into the AOP-KB is currently being planned and will be executed in 2014 and 2015.  All levels of experience with AOPs are welcome in these sessions.

Hyatt Regency Phoenix, 50 E Adams St.
Monday, March 24, 5:00 – 6:30 pm, Borein Room
Tuesday, March 25, 12:00 – 1:30 pm, Cassidy Room
Thursday, March 27, 8:00 – 9:00 am, Remington Room

AOPs Meetings & Events