OECD Calls for assays for Non-Genotoxic Carcinogens

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is looking for assays that could be used within the context of an Integrated Approach to Testing and Assessment to assess a chemicals potential for non-genotoxic carcinogenicity assessment. If you have or are developing such an assay, please let OECD know about it before June 15, 2018.

Please see the explanatory note and Excel assay collection template for reporting information about the assays to OECD.

Send all information to Nathalie.delrue@oecd.org by Friday 15 June 2018.

 

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Our new video is live – the third in our Pathways to a Better Future series!

We are excited to share our latest video with you! Human-Based Biological Pathways: Where does the information come from? is the third video in Pathways to a Better Future, a video series about new uses of science to avoid animal testing of chemicals and better protect ourselves and our environment. View the complete series of videos on our website or our YouTube channel.

 

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World first as UK researchers infect artificial liver with Hepatitis B virus

Excerpted from The Engineer:

Researchers at Imperial College London have become the first in the world to test how pathogens interact with artificial human organs, so called organ-on-chip technologies. The group claims that the pioneering tests pave the way for an improved understanding and of a range of diseases enabling the development of new treatments. Keep reading »

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HTPC/HSUS awarded international Lush Prize in recognition of efforts to end animal testing

We’re proud to announce that we are the recipients of the prestigious Lush Prize award for training in recognition of our efforts to replace animal testing with alternatives.

The prize was awarded to the Human Toxicology Project Consortium (HTPC), in recognition of a training program we developed that helps scientists apply alternative methods. Lush created a video explaining the project.

The HTPC is a coalition of corporate and non-profit organizations, founded and coordinated by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) that promotes the development & implementation of non-animal science to improve chemical safety tests. As part of our training program, earlier this year we created a course to promote the concept and application of Adverse Outcome Pathways, or AOPs. An AOP is a flexible framework that describes the events that occur following chemical exposure. The course trains scientists to use a software package that allows them to organize and combine biological information. When organized this way, the information helps scientists predict what will happen after chemical exposure, as an alternative to testing that chemical on animals. The course was developed by the HTPC and etioLogic Consulting Services, in collaboration with an international group of scientists, and has been incorporated into the training materials of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Dr. Catherine Willett, Director of Regulatory Toxicology, Risk Assessment and Alternatives for The HSUS will accept the award at a ceremony in London this evening.

Lush Prize is a joint project between Lush Cosmetics and the Ethical Consumer Research Association (ECRA) and was founded in 2012 as a way of supporting initiatives to replace the use of animals in research. Prizes are awarded annually in Lobbying, Public Awareness, Science, Training, and Young Researchers, and each winner is awarded £50,000 (around $65,000). This year, more than 66 entries from 29 countries were submitted.

The prize money we receive will be used to continue our work to advance non-animal methods in research and testing.

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Species Extrapolation Workgroup at SETAC’s Annual Meeting

Planning to be in Minneapolis next week for the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North America Annual Meeting? Please join us at The Species Extrapolation Workgroup, a meeting that will explore how scientists can protect endangered species while reducing animal testing.

Currently, data used to protect endangered species has the unintended consequence of helping to increase animal testing and prohibiting the acceptance of alternative test methods and data sources that would reduce or replace animal testing. Presentations and a discussion will explore what data is needed to protect endangered species and how improving species extrapolation methods could best address those needs.

The workgroup will be held on Sunday, November 12 from 1-4pm at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Room: M101J.

Register: http://www.setac.org/store/view_product.asp?id=9684852

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Emory University symposium to highlight animal-free innovations in biomedical research

Calling all Atlanta-area residents! The Human Toxicology Project Consortium, in collaboration with Emory University School of Law, will present a free half-day symposium on Monday, October 23rd, 2017 to showcase the latest animal-free innovations in biomedical research. These research methods and technologies offer the most efficient approach to pre-clinical drug and device development and toxicity testing of commercial chemicals.

Scientists, lawyers, students, other members of the Emory community and beyond are invited to hear about bio-technology, computer science and engineering approaches, such as sophisticated 3-D cell culture systems; stem cell technologies that allow research on individual diseases; organ-on-a-chip technologies; genomics; proteomics; metabolomics; computational modeling; bioinformatics “knowledge-bases”; and other platforms for linking mechanistic biological information and developing predictive models of human diseases.

The regulatory challenges of applying these technologies to drug and device development and toxicity testing will also be addressed. Presentations will be followed by a panel discussion and question and answer period with the audience.

The symposium is free to attend, but registration is required. Those who would like to participate in the free lunch following the symposium must register no later than Saturday, October 18th.

For more information and to register, please visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-symposium-exploring-new-technologies-in-biomedical-research-tickets-37999430319.

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Strategic plans reveal U.S. agencies’ commitment to adopting non-animal alternative approaches to toxicity testing

A recent meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) was an opportunity for the committee and the public to learn more about the strategic roadmap developed by the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM). Composed of representatives from 16 federal agencies that require the use of animals for toxicity testing, ICCVAM was established by Congress to facilitate the regulatory acceptance of new test methods that reduce, refine, or replace animal tests. SACATM provides input on ICCVAM priorities and activities and is comprised of representatives from industry, academia, and animal protection organizations.

During the September 18-19 SACATM meeting in Bethesda, MD, presentations and discussions examined ICCVAM’s important role in facilitating the development and use of non-animal test methods and how, through implementation of the strategic roadmap, ICCVAM could better accomplish this legislated purpose. Both presenters and participants generally agreed about a few key points:

  • There is a need for stakeholder engagement in all stages of the alternative test development and implementation process. This will ensure that new methods that are developed will meet the needs of the regulators and be used by industry.
  • Agencies must provide clear communication about their safety information needs and acceptance of new methods to inform decision making about alternative method development and encourage use of new non-animal methods.
  • Efforts must be made to establish confidence in and understanding of new alternative methods.

During the SACATM meeting, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) affirmed that the agency is progressing in its plans to promote the use of alternatives to animal testing in compliance with the Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (LCSA) that was signed into law on June 22, 2016. LCSA updated a 40-year-old federal law regulating industrial chemicals and introduces, for the first time ever in U.S. law, provisions to minimize animal testing and prioritize the development and use of non-animal test methods.

Under LCSA, EPA was tasked with creating a strategic plan within two years of the law’s enactment to “promote the development and implementation of alternative test methods and strategies to reduce, refine, or replace vertebrate animal testing…”

Dr. Louis Scarano from EPA’s Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics outlined the agency’s draft goals for its strategic plan including:

  1. Reducing and replacing vertebrate animal testing;
  2. Using integrated approaches to testing and assessment (IATA) as the principle method for alternative development;
  3. Collaborating with stakeholders to develop and implement alternative methods; and
  4. Inspiring industry and regulators to develop alternative methods that create confidence.

While it is clear that LCSA will significantly increase toxicity testing of industrial chemicals, the EPA’s strategic plan will be an important guidepost for ensuring that any additional test requirements will be mitigated by efforts to actively ensure the immediate reduction and ultimate replacement of animal testing with new alternative methods. If done right, this plan will also ensure that alternatives continue to be developed that can replace animal use for additional EPA information needs.

ICCVAM’s final strategic roadmap will be unveiled during an upcoming meeting in November and a first draft of EPA’s strategic plan is expected to be released in April 2018. We look forward to providing comments about these plans and working with the agencies to ensure their successful implementation.

Read more about the SACATM meeting in this National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) article by Catherine Sprankle.

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