In early 2017, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) joined the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM). NIST participation brings experience to the committee in the study of process controls, measurement artifacts, and interlaboratory testing.
Supported by the NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods, the committee was established to facilitate and promote development and regulatory acceptance of new toxicological tests that could replace, reduce, or refine animal use. The expertise within NIST benefits the committee, especially in developing validation studies to assess the appropriateness of new test methods for specific purposes. In particular, NIST has experience with cell-based and small model organism assays, which are becoming increasingly important as alternatives for traditional animal tests. NIST also brings expertise in experimental design and statistical analysis.
This event represents the first time the committee has expanded its membership since its inception in 2000. NIST, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has been interacting with the committee since 2015. The agency submitted an official request to join in January 2017, which NIEHS Director Linda Birnbaum approved in February 2017.