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ICCVAM Biennial Report 2014-2015

Biennial Progress Report 2014-2015 Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods

International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods

The International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods (ICATM) was established in 2009 to promote consistent and enhanced voluntary international cooperation, collaboration, and communication among national validation organizations. The goals of ICATM are to:

  • Ensure optimal design and conduct of validation studies
  • Ensure high-quality independent scientific peer reviews of alternative test methods
  • Ensure consistent and transparent stakeholder involvement
  • Achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness by internationally leveraging limited resources and avoiding duplication of effort
  • Support the timely international adoption of alternative test methods

This cooperation enables scientifically valid alternative methods or strategies to be more readily accepted worldwide for regulatory use.

ICATM includes member organizations (see sidebar) from the European Union, United States, Japan, Canada, and South Korea. Brazil and China began participating in ICATM in 2015 as observers, with plans to join as full members in 2016.

ICATM meetings take place several times a year and provide an opportunity for the five organizations to discuss activities in identified areas of cooperation. These regular interactions allow ICATM partners to develop good communications and working relationships in support of collaborative test method development. ICCVAM representatives participated in three ICATM coordination meetings in 2014 and 2015.

ICCVAM Collaborations With International Validation Organizations

  • Representatives from EURL ECVAM, JaCVAM, KoCVAM, and Health Canada attended the 2014 meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods as nonvoting liaisons.
  • EURL ECVAM has liaisons to the ICCVAM Skin Sensitization and Ocular Toxicity Working Groups; EURL ECVAM and KoCVAM have liaisons to the ICCVAM Acute Toxicity Working Group. EURL ECVAM, JaCVAM, KoCVAM, and Health Canada have liaisons to the ICCVAM Androgen Receptor Reference Chemical Working Group.
  • ICCVAM nominated experts to participate on EURL ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee peer reviews of in vitro skin sensitization and ocular toxicity test methods.
  • NICEATM or ICCVAM scientists participated on the management teams for the following validation studies coordinated by international partners during 2014 and 2015.
Toxicity Area Test Method Coordinating Organization
Acute toxicity In vitro test method for evaluating human liver metabolism and toxicity EURL ECVAM
Immunotoxicity: allergic contact dermatitis IL-8 luciferase skin sensitization assay JaCVAM
Immunotoxicity: allergic contact dermatitis Vitrigel-SST method for identifying potential skin sensitizers JaCVAM
Ocular toxicity Rabbit cornea derived cell line (SIRC-CVS) assay for identification of ocular irritants JaCVAM
Ocular toxicity Vitrigel-EIT method for identifying potential eye irritants JaCVAM
Reproductive and developmental toxicity Hand-1 luciferase assay for identification of substances with potential embryotoxicity JaCVAM
Representatives of ICATM member organization at June 2015 coordination meeting

ICATM Participant Organizations

  • ICCVAM is an interagency committee of the U.S. government that coordinates technical reviews of alternative test methods and cross-agency activities relating to validation, acceptance, and harmonization of test methods. NICEATM administers ICCVAM and provides scientific support for its activities.
  • EURL ECVAM (European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing) is a unit within the Institute of Health and Consumer Protection in the European Union’s Joint Research Centre. EURL ECVAM coordinates the validation of alternative test methods in the European Union.
  • JaCVAM (Japanese Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods) coordinates the evaluation of alternative test methods for the Japanese National Institute of Health Sciences, its parent organization.
  • Health Canada’s Environmental Health Science and Research Bureau coordinates the evaluation of alternative test methods in Canada.
  • KoCVAM (Korean Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods) is part of the National Institute of Food and Drug Safety Evaluation of the South Korean Food and Drug Administration.