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Announcements Archive

Links below lead to announcements about NICEATM and ICCVAM activities and relevant webpages. These announcements were originally issued via the NICEATM News email list.

Date Announcement Deadline/Due Date
May 10, 2018
Registration, Comment Deadlines This Friday for ICCVAM Public Forum

Register by this Friday, May 11, to attend ICCVAM’s May 24 Public Forum. The meeting will be from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at the Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. Walk-in registration will be available only as space permits. The meeting is free and open to the public. The meeting will also be webcast; webcast registration will be available through the end of the meeting. Information about the meeting and links to register to attend or view the webcast are available on the meeting webpage.

Persons planning to submit statements on topics relevant to ICCVAM activities for consideration at the Public Forum should email statements to ICCVAMquestions@niehs.nih.gov by this Friday. If you are planning to present a statement orally, please sign up to attend the meeting in person and indicate on the registration form that you are planning to submit public comments. Written statements may be submitted either as stand-alone documents or to supplement and expand oral statements. Written statements will be posted on the NICEATM website and distributed to NICEATM and ICCVAM members before the meeting.

ICCVAM holds annual public forums to share information and facilitate direct communication of ideas and suggestions from stakeholders. This year’s meeting will include presentations by NICEATM and ICCVAM members on current activities related to the development and validation of alternative test methods and approaches, including activities relevant to implementation of the strategic roadmap for establishing new approaches to evaluate the safety of chemicals and medical products in the United States

May 11, 2018

May 10, 2018
PISC Offers Award for Early-Career Scientist to Attend ESTIV2018

Early-career scientists are invited to apply for an award to attend the 20th International Congress on In Vitro Toxicology (ESTIV2018) in Berlin, October 15-18. The award, presented by the PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. (PISC), will cover the cost of conference registration and contribute towards travel and accommodation expenses.

Applications are welcomed from master's and Ph.D. students who have completed their first year of studies, postdoctoral fellows, and scientists who have been out of a postdoctoral program for less than three years. Applicants should submit abstracts to the conference, as only applicants whose abstracts have been submitted to and accepted by ESTIV will be considered by PISC for the award.

The application deadline is June 17, which is also the submission deadline for ESTIV abstracts. For more details and to apply, visit the PISC website

Jun 17, 2018

May 10, 2018
Program Available for OpenTox USA 2018 on July 11-12

A preliminary program is available for OpenTox USA 2018, to be held at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center in Durham, NC, on July 11-12. The theme of the conference is Maximizing the Benefits of In Vitro-In Silico Approaches in Toxicology and Risk Assessment in an Ever Changing Data Landscape. Abstracts for poster presentations will be accepted through June 15. Registration to attend the conference is open, with discounted registration available for students, postdocs, and OpenTox Association members. More information is available on the meeting website.

Jun 15, 2018

May 10, 2018
Upcoming SBIR Road Tour Events for Small Business Outreach

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) offers funding for small businesses developing alternative testing approaches and technologies of interest to the Tox21 program. These funding opportunities are provided through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

The SBIR Road Tour is a national outreach effort to connect with businesses in communities that have historically underutilized SBIR/STTR programs. SBIR Road Tour events provide opportunities for business owners to meet directly with federal and state program managers and learn about state-sponsored innovation support infrastructure. The next round of SBIR Road Tour events will take place June 18-22 with stops in Rochester, NY; Pittsburgh, PA; Columbus, OH; Huntington, WV; and Durham, NC. Events later this year will focus on the Pacific Northwest region (July 17-20) and New England (August 20-24).

For more information about the SBIR Road Tour stops, visit the SBIR Road Tour website. For more information about NIEHS SBIR/STTR grants, visit the NIEHS website.

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May 8, 2018
NICEATM Requests Information on Technologies for Identifying Developmental Toxicants

NICEATM requests available data and information on approaches and/or technologies currently used for identifying potential developmental toxicants. Submitted information will be used to assess the state of the science and determine technical needs for non-animal test methods used to evaluate the potential of chemicals to induce adverse effects in offspring. The deadline for receipt of the requested information is June 15.

Respondents to this request should provide information on any activities relevant to the development or validation of alternatives to in vivo developmental toxicity test methods currently used by federal agencies for regulatory and other decision contexts. NICEATM also requests available data from in vivo developmental studies, human or animal studies, or accidental human exposures, using the same chemicals used to evaluate the alternative developmental toxicity test methods. 

Jun 15, 2018

May 8, 2018
Free May 9 SOT Webinar to Discuss Dermal Irritation Testing Methods

Two specialty sections of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) will present a free webinar, “An In Vitro Skin Irritation Test for Detection of Irritant Activity in Medical Device Extracts,” on May 9 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The webinar, presented by the SOT In Vitro and Alternative Methods Specialty Section and the SOT Medical Device and Combination Product Specialty Section, will discuss an international validation study of reconstructed human epidermis models as potential replacements for the rabbit skin irritation test. The study showed that these models could detect the presence of strong skin irritants at low levels in dilute medical device polymer extracts. More information about the webinar and a link to register

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May 8, 2018
Comments on EPA Draft Strategy Due May 11

Comments on a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) draft strategy to reduce use of vertebrate animals in chemical testing are due Friday, May 11. The draft strategy and related documents are available at https://www.regulations.gov/ under docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0559. Comments received will be considered in the Agency's development of the final strategy.

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act, mandated development of the strategy, which was released March 7. The announcement of the draft strategy release is available on the EPA website.

May 11, 2018

May 8, 2018
Pan-American Conference on Alternatives: Abstracts Deadline Extended to May 15

The abstract submission deadline for the Pan-American Conference for Alternative Methods has been extended to May 15. The conference will be held on August 23-24 at the Windsor Florida Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. This conference provides a forum for scientists from across the Americas to further alternatives to animal testing and build collaboration for the exchange of ideas. The conference is organized by the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, ICCVAM Co-chair Anna Lowit (EPA), and ICCVAM member Suzanne Fitzpatrick (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) are on the scientific committee.

There is no registration fee to attend the conference, and travel grants are available. More information about abstract submission and conference logistics is available on the CAAT website.

May 15, 2018

May 8, 2018
NIEHS Webinars to Discuss New Approaches and Methodologies for Chemical Safety Evaluation

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Research Program is hosting a webinar series highlighting research that may be useful as new approaches and methodologies for toxicity testing. This series coincides with recent initiatives found in the EPA draft strategic plan discussed above and the Strategic Roadmap for Establishing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States.

Session 1, presented on May 14 at 1:00 p.m. EDT, will discuss “Toxicity Testing Strategies and Model Systems.” Speakers will provide an overview of toxicity testing strategies to advance the use of 21st-century science in chemical safety evaluation. Speakers will also describe the pros and cons of model systems such as zebrafish and cell-based assays in hazard identification.

Session 2, on May 23, will focus on “Tools for Assessing Exposure and Toxicity,” and a third session on May 31 will discuss “Modernizing Safety Testing.” More information and links to register for all three webinars are available on the NIEHS website.

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May 8, 2018
NTP Update Newsletter

The May NTP Update newsletter includes recent NICEATM activities as well as summaries of the April 11-12 workshop, “Predictive Models for Acute Oral Systemic Toxicity” and an April 26 expert panel review of the findings of the NTP CLARITY-BPA Core Study.

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Apr 27, 2018
EURL ECVAM Conducting Survey on In Vitro Method Use

The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) is conducting a survey to better understand the current level of uptake and satisfaction regarding complex in vitro models and the current thinking around how best to establish their validity for use in research and testing. In this context, the term “complex in vitro models” describes systems such as 3D cell cultures, spheroids, bioprinted tissues, bioreactor cultures, and microphysiological systems (e.g., tissue-/organ-/human-on-chip) that are intended to represent complex aspects of human biology in practical experimental setups. The survey seeks the opinion of all those interested in complex in vitro models and their potential applications, irrespective of how familiar the respondent may be with the subject area.

The survey is available through May 31. EURL ECVAM will make the findings of the survey publicly available once the responses have been analyzed. It is hoped that survey results will be combined with information gathered from other sources to inform validation strategies and technology-transfer initiatives to expedite the uptake and use of complex in vitro models in a variety of sectors.

May 31, 2018

Apr 27, 2018
NIEHS Opening for Supervisory Public Health Scientist/Medical Advisor

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is seeking candidates for the position of Supervisory Public Health Scientist/Medical Advisor. The ideal candidate will have considerable knowledge and expertise to facilitate NIEHS’ mission to discover how the environment affects people to promote healthier lives. He or she will supervise an office with responsibilities that include oversight and coordination of the NIEHS Global Environmental Health Program, the WHO Risk Assessment Network, and the coordination and funding for the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine research forums and committees. The position is located at the main National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

Candidates must have an M.D. or equivalent medical degree, medical board certification or eligibility in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. They should also have experience supervising senior professionals and with collaborating, partnering, and communicating across the institutes or centers at the National Institutes of Health, with the executive branches of other federal agencies, and with clinical, environmental and disease advocacy groups. Demonstration of substantive clinical expertise and scholarship, including recognition and publications in occupational and environmental health, toxicology, epidemiology, exposure science, applied public health research, and basic science research, from bench to public health, are also necessary for this position. For more information, contact Leslie Lynch at lynch2@niehs.nih.gov; applications are due by May 11.

May 11, 2018

Apr 27, 2018
Paper Describes “3Ss” Approach to Alternatives Development

A recent article in the journal ALTEX summarizes current systemic testing approaches and the development of alternative approaches. The authors, including NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer and ICCVAM member Suzanne Fitzpatrick (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), argue that a systematic approach is needed to curate and integrate existing knowledge to guide the development of alternative approaches that can assess the effects of toxicity on the whole organism. The article discusses the use of computational and experimental systems toxicology approaches in this context.
Smirnova et al. 2018. 3S – Systematic, systemic, and systems biology and toxicology [published online ahead of print 20 April 2018]. ALTEX.

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Apr 23, 2018
Pan-American Conference on Alternatives: Abstracts Due April 30

The Pan-American Conference for Alternative Methods will be held on August 23-24 at the Windsor Florida Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. This conference provides a forum for scientists from across the Americas to further alternatives to animal testing and build collaboration for the exchange of ideas. The conference is organized by the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, ICCVAM Co-chair Anna Lowit (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]), and ICCVAM member Suzanne Fitzpatrick (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) are on the scientific committee.

Abstract submission is open for the conference, and abstracts are due April 30. There is no registration fee to attend the conference, and travel grants are available. More information about abstract submission and conference logistics is available on the CAAT website.

Apr 30, 2018

Apr 23, 2018
EPA Releases ToxCast Owner’s Manual

EPA recently released its ToxCast Owner’s Manual. Since its launch in 2007, EPA’s Toxicity Forecaster (ToxCast) high throughput screening program has generated data for approximately 1,800 chemicals for more than 700 assay endpoints, making ToxCast a major contributor to the federal Tox21 collaboration. All ToxCast data is publicly available.

The Owner’s Manual provides information on how ToxCast data is generated and processed. It also provides guidance for exploring and using the data. The Owner’s Manual and links to additional information about ToxCast are available on the EPA website.

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Apr 16, 2018
3Rs Resources Inventory Available from EURL ECVAM

The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) conducted an assessment of current technologies, information sources, and networks from all relevant sectors with potential impact on the advancement of the refinement, reduction and replacement of animals used for scientific purposes (the "Three Rs"). Relevant resources identified have been compiled into a database available on the European Commission Joint Research Centre website. Documents available at this page include the database, which is contained in a downloadable Excel spreadsheet, as well as background information and links to publications discussing knowledge sharing in this area.

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Apr 16, 2018
FDA Requests Input in Advance of International Meeting on Cosmetics Regulation

In a Federal Register notice published April 11, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a June 7 meeting to gather public input in advance of the July 10-12 meeting of the International Cooperation on Cosmetics Regulation (ICCR). ICCR is a voluntary international group of cosmetics regulatory authorities that seeks to minimize regulatory obstacles to international trade while maintaining global consumer protection.

The purpose of the June 7 meeting is to invite public input on various topics pertaining to the regulation of cosmetics. The meeting will be held at the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in College Park, Maryland; remote access by phone will be available. Those interested in attending the meeting should register by sending an email including name, title, affiliation, address, email, and telephone to Jonathan Hicks at jonathan.hicks@fda.hhs.gov by May 24.

May 24, 2018

Apr 16, 2018
Presentations Available from Data Integration Workshop

All recorded presentations from the February 2018 National Academies workshop on Informing Environmental Health Decisions Through Data Integration are now available on the workshop website. This workshop explored the opportunities and challenges inherent to integrating large quantities of data from multiple, disparate sources to understand complex environmental health questions.

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Apr 16, 2018
Article Describes New Strategic Plan for Tox21

An article published online March 8 in the journal ALTEX describe a new strategic and operational plan for Tox21 that expands the focus of its research activities. The new focus areas include developing an expanded portfolio of alternative test systems, addressing technical limitations of in vitro test systems, curating legacy in vivo toxicity testing data, establishing scientific confidence in the in vitro test systems, and refining alternative methods for characterizing pharmacokinetics and in vitro assay disposition. Co-authors include NICEATM Director Warren Casey and ICCVAM members Richard Paules (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences [NIEHS]), Suzanne Fitzpatrick (FDA), and Donna Mendrick (FDA).
Thomas et al. 2018. The US Federal Tox21 Program: A strategic and operational plan for continued leadership. ALTEX.

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Apr 12, 2018
EPA Requests Comments on Draft Policy on Skin Sensitization Testing

On April 10, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft Science Policy to reduce animal use in testing strategies to evaluate chemicals for their ability to cause an allergic reaction, inflammation, or sensitization of the skin. “This draft policy is another step toward achieving EPA's goal of reducing the use of animals and increasing the use of cutting-edge science in chemical testing,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in an EPA Office of Pesticide Programs news release.

The draft policy is the result of national and international collaboration among ICCVAM, NICEATM, Cosmetics Europe, the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing, and Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency.

Comments on the draft skin sensitization policy can be submitted to docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0093 at www.regulations.gov through June 9. The April 10 news release is available on the EPA website.

June 9, 2018

Apr 9, 2018
Registration Open for ICCVAM Public Forum

Registration is open for ICCVAM’s May 24 Public Forum. The meeting will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. The meeting will also be webcast.

ICCVAM holds annual public forums to share information and facilitate direct communication of ideas and suggestions from stakeholders. This year’s meeting will include presentations by NICEATM and ICCVAM members on current activities related to the development and validation of alternative test methods and approaches, including activities relevant to implementation of the strategic roadmap for establishing new approaches to evaluate the safety of chemicals and medical products in the United States. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Those planning to attend the meeting in person should register by May 11. Webcast registration will be available through the end of the meeting on May 24.

May 11, 2018

Apr 9, 2018
Call for Applications for Grants and Awards from CAAT

The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is accepting applications for research grants and the Next Generation Humane Science Award.

  • Pre-proposals are being accepted through April 30 for grants of up to $40,000 to support projects with the objective of reducing or replacing laboratory animals in biomedical research or safety testing. Projects should be developed to provide mechanistic understanding of in vitro responses to toxicants in human cells. Pre-proposals can be submitted via the form on the CAAT website. Selected applicants will be invited to submit a complete grant application package.
  • Applications are due May 30 for the CAAT Next Generation Humane Science Award, given annually to young scientists to acknowledge and encourage researchers who focus on replacing animal experiments. The 2018 award will provide a prize of up to $9,000 recognizing the work of one young scientist, or may be shared among two or more young scientists. Candidates must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States working at U.S.-based institutions and have received Ph.D. or similar degrees no earlier than 2010. Complete application instructions are available on the CAAT website.

Grants: Apr 30, 2018

Awards: May 30, 2018

Apr 9, 2018
Positions Available at FDA for Pharmacology/Toxicology Reviewers

Scientific Reviewer positions are available at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. These scientists review a wide variety of advanced therapies, including stem cell and stem cell-derived products, functionally mature and differentiated cells, gene therapies, products for xenotransplantation, blood- and plasma-derived products, and combination products. Positions are located at the Office of Tissues and Advanced Therapies in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Candidate scientists and biomedical engineers should have training or experience in pharmacological, toxicological, biological, or veterinary sciences. Involvement in research projects investigating tissue-engineered stem cell therapy or gene therapy products is beneficial.

For more information or to apply, email Mercedes Serabian at Mercedes.Serabian@fda.hhs.gov.

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Mar 26, 2018
SOT-FDA Colloquium on Testing of Food Mixtures March 27

Humans are routinely exposed simultaneously to numerous chemicals in food, yet risk assessments of chemicals in food rely on test data from individual chemicals. A March 27 colloquium sponsored by the Society of Toxicology (SOT) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will consider whether new testing approaches such as in vitro assays, in silico models, and non-mammalian in vivo models could be used to assess the potential health impacts of exposure to chemical mixtures in food.

Can Alternatives Inform a Risk Assessment of Mixtures in Food?” will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Wiley Auditorium, FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, College Park, Maryland. Preregistration to attend the colloquium in person has closed; walk-in registration is available to U.S. federal employees only. The colloquium will also be webcast.

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Mar 26, 2018
New Features and Handbook Available for AOP Wiki

Release 2.2 and an updated AOP Developers’ Handbook are now available for users of AOP Wiki. AOP Wiki serves as the primary repository of qualitative information for the international adverse outcome pathway (AOP) development effort coordinated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Features of AOP Wiki release 2.2 include:

  • New interface featuring sortable key event and key event relationship tables, navigational tips, an improved network view, and reordered menu
  • Definition of key events using a set of structured ontology terms
  • New AOP-XML format to export AOP content from AOP Wiki to other platforms

Updates to the AOP Developers’ Handbook include:

  • Revised guidance relating to branching in an AOP
  • New text to describe how to depict feed-forward/feedback loops
  • New text describing AOP networks and applicable filters to simplify viewing
  • New guidance on assigning calls for taxonomic, life stage, and sex applicability for key event relationships
  • Further clarification on current quantitative understanding of AOPs
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Mar 15, 2018
Integrated Chemical Environment Adds Formulations Viewer

A recent update to the NICEATM Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE) added a formulations viewer that allows users to explore toxicity data on formulations and their active ingredients. ICE currently includes data for about 700 formulations from six-pack studies for pesticide registration: acute oral, dermal, and inhalation toxicity; skin sensitization; and skin and eye irritation. Active ingredient lists from a formulations query can be used to query the ICE Integrator for data on these substances from other in vivo and in vitro assays.

The recent ICE update also added updated and expanded physicochemical property predictions, updated androgen and estrogen pathway model predictions, and improved filtering on assay endpoints. Additional updates planned for the near future include interactive workflows for prediction of physicochemical property data; chemical use category information; and in vitro to in vivo extrapolation predictions using ICE data.

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Mar 15, 2018
Save the Date: ASCCT Annual Meeting September 11-12

The Seventh Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology will be Sept. 11-12 at Lister Hill Auditorium, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. The theme of the meeting will be “Predictive Toxicology: Strategies for Implementing New Approaches.” Plenary session speakers will include NTP Associate Director Brian Berridge and ICCVAM member Suzanne Fitzpatrick of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

ASCCT will accept abstract submissions for poster and oral presentations at the meeting; abstracts are due June 29. The meeting will also feature a panel discussion on public-private partnerships, a social reception and networking event, and mentoring activities for young scientists. Registration and abstract submission details will be available soon on the ASCCT website.

June 29, 2018
Mar 15, 2018
NICEATM Research Featured in C&EN Article

Endocrine disruptor assays go fast track,” an article in the March 12 issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), discusses U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) efforts to implement more efficient approaches to identifying potential endocrine disruptors. In the article, NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer describes NICEATM’s collaborations with EPA to develop computational models to predict estrogenic and androgenic activity. The article also discusses current EPA activities in the areas of thyroid disruption and steroidogenesis.

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Mar 12, 2018
EPA Releases Draft Strategy to Reduce Animal Use for TSCA Testing

On March 7, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft strategy to reduce use of vertebrate animals in chemical testing for public comment. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, which amended the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), mandated development of the strategy. A March 12 Federal Register notice has additional details. The draft strategy will be available for comment at Regulations.gov under docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0559 for 45 days. Comments received will be considered in the Agency's development of the final strategy. A public meeting on the draft strategy will be held in Washington, DC, on April 10.

Apr 21, 2018
Mar 12, 2018
NIH Requests Comments on Draft Strategic Plan for Data Science

To capitalize on the opportunities presented by advances in data science, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is developing a Strategic Plan for Data Science. This plan describes NIH's overarching goals, strategic objectives, and implementation tactics for promoting the modernization of the NIH-funded biomedical data science ecosystem.

NIH published a Request for Information that seeks input from stakeholders, including members of the scientific community, academic institutions, the private sector, health professionals, professional societies, advocacy groups, patient communities, as well as other interested members of the public. To ensure consideration, comments must be submitted by April 2.

Apr 2, 2018
Mar 12, 2018
Next Deadline for Small Business Grants April 5

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) offers funding for small businesses developing technologies of interest to the Tox21 program. These technologies include improved or expanded testing methods for toxicity screening, computational approaches for predictive toxicology, and other technologies such as alternative or improved methods for fixing and preserving tissues. The funding is offered as part of the 2018 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, Centers for Disease Control, and Food and Drug Administration for small business grant applications to support development and commercialization of innovative technologies.

The next due date for applications for this funding is April 5. More information is available on the NICEATM website.

Apr 5, 2018
Mar 12, 2018
Papers Published Describing Analysis of Defined Approaches to Skin Sensitization

A collaboration between NICEATM and Cosmetics Europe has produced two papers describing important resources for non-animal approaches to identifying potential skin sensitizers.

  • The first paper describes a database that includes data from human, animal, and five non-animal tests for 128 chemicals. The chemicals in the database represent a wide variety of chemistries and use categories. The database is proposed as a point of reference for the evaluation and development of new testing strategies.
    Hoffmann et al. 2018. Non-animal methods to predict skin sensitization (I): the Cosmetics Europe database. Crit Rev Toxicol
  • The second paper describes an analysis of multiple non-animal data integration approaches for skin sensitization safety assessment of cosmetics ingredients using the database described above. Many of these approaches were found to perform as well or better than animal methods to predict human skin sensitization hazard.
    Kleinstreuer et al. 2018. Non-animal methods to predict skin sensitization (II): the Cosmetics Europe database. Crit Rev Toxicol

Both papers were published February 23 in Critical Reviews in Toxicology and are available to all readers regardless of subscription status.

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Mar 12, 2018
NTP Update Newsletter

The March NTP Update newsletter is now available. This month's issue includes an article about an NTP research initiative into health effects of bisphenol A, a summary of a recent meeting on research and public health issues surrounding polyfluorinated and perfluorinated substances, and an announcement of an April NICEATM workshop.

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Mar 7, 2018
NICEATM and ICCVAM Activities at SOT

Consider adding these sessions to your Society of Toxicology annual meeting itinerary:

  • Satellite Meeting: Building a Better Epithelium: Breaking the Barrier to the Next Generation of Toxicity Testing: Saturday, March 10, 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
  • Continuing Education Courses: Sunday, March 11, Convention Center 300 Level
    • The What, When, and How of Using Data from Alternative Testing Methods in Chemical Safety Assessments
    • In Vitro Testing: Tales from the Real World
    • Consumer Products Safety Assessment: Progress in the Use of Alternatives to Animal Models
  • Implementing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States (sponsored by NTP and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences): Monday, March 12, 9:00-10:00 a.m., Conference Center Room 217C
    This session will focus on the U.S. Strategic Roadmap
  • In Vitro Toxicology Lecture and Luncheon: Monday, March 12, 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Hemisfair Ballroom C1
    "More than Skin Deep: When Alternative Approaches Outperform Animal Tests," NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer
  • U.S. EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act: Strategy for Alternative Test Methods to Reduce Animal Testing (sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency): Wednesday, March 14, 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m., Conference Center Room 217D
  • The U.S. Tox21 Collaboration: A Decade of Experience and a New Vision for the Future: Wednesday, March 14, 4:30-6:00 p.m., Hemisfair Ballroom C2
  • Satellite Meeting: Updates on Activities Related to 21st-century Toxicology and Related Efforts: Thursday, March 15, 12:30-4:00 p.m., Grand Hyatt Bowie A-B

Presentations by NICEATM and ICCVAM scientists will also be given at 11 platform sessions and 18 poster sessions throughout the meeting. More information about NICEATM and ICCVAM presentations at SOT

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Feb 27, 2018
Registration Open for Workshop on Predictive Models for Acute Oral Systemic Toxicity

NICEATM will hold a Workshop on Predictive Models for Acute Oral Systemic Toxicity on April 11-12 at the Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. The workshop is free and open to the public and will be webcast. More information and links to registration

The ICCVAM Acute Toxicity Workgroup, with support from NICEATM, sponsored a global project to develop in silico models of acute oral systemic toxicity that predict five specific endpoints identified by member regulatory agencies. This workshop will provide an opportunity for project participants to present their submitted models. Workshop participants will also discuss developing a consensus model that integrates the submitted models to predict acute oral toxicity, as well as next steps needed to encourage appropriate use of these models in regulatory contexts.

Apr 6, 2018
Feb 27, 2018
Webinar on Microphysiological Systems March 8

The American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology will present a webinar on "Microphysiological Systems: Innovative Tools for Drug Development and Disease Modeling." Lucie Low of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences will discuss U.S. federal government activities to develop bio-engineered microdevices that represent functional units of major human organ systems. A new five-year program sponsored by the National Institutes of Health focuses on application of these devices to study disease mechanisms and candidate drug efficacy. The webinar will discuss the current status of this program and efforts to further evolve these technologies.

The webinar will be presented Thursday, March 8, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. Eastern Time and is free. Register for the webinar

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Feb 27, 2018
Internship Opportunities with the U.S. Air Force

The U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine is accepting applications for its High Performance Computing Internship Program. Interns are being recruited to work on four projects:

  • High-performance computing of quantitative structure activity relationship models applied to toxicology and adverse outcome cellular pathway analysis
  • Application of machine learning and image analytics methods to improve assessment of cellular images
  • Establishment of analytical tools and pipeline to uncover epigenetic markers of lifestyle and occupation
  • Integrative phenotype databases for predictive toxicology
Applications are due March 16 and are welcomed from undergraduate or graduate students or postdoctoral candidates. Candidates must have a 3.0 or higher GPA, be U.S. citizens, and be eligible to obtain a security clearance. Interns will work on-site at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, during June-August 2018, with the option to continue work remotely from their school. For more information and to apply, contact Heather Pangburn at heather.pangburn.1@us.af.mil.
Mar 16, 2018
Feb 27, 2018
Stakeholders Invited to Discuss Performance Standards for Microphysiological Systems

Johns Hopkins University Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) invites stakeholders to discuss performance standards for microphysiological systems (MPS). The discussion will encompass questions like:

  • What defines an MPS?
  • What defines a good MPS in terms of fit-for-purpose, reproducibility, relevance, validity?
  • How does an MPS need to be documented and reported?
  • How can a lab show proficiency in testing with an MPS?
  • What quality assurance and management need to be in place?
This call for expression of interest will identify possible partners from academia, regulatory agencies, industry (users and technology providers), and nongovernmental organizations. The ultimate goal is to develop quality assurance standards to complement the technical developments that have occurred in this area.

Those interested in participating are invited to contact CAAT at caat@jhu.edu. Letters of motivation and referrals to relevant activities in this area are welcomed. CAAT will organize the dialogue according to the responses received.

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Feb 27, 2018
SOT Sessions on Alternatives Implementation

As you are planning your itinerary for the Society of Toxicology (SOT) annual meeting, consider including these sessions relevant to alternative methods implementation:

  • Implementing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States (sponsored by NTP and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences): Monday, March 12, 9:00-10:00 a.m., Conference Center Room 217C
  • U.S. EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act: Strategy for Alternative Test Methods to Reduce Animal Testing (sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency): Wednesday, March 14, 12:00 noon-1:00 p.m., Conference Center Room 217D
  • The U.S. Tox21 Collaboration: A Decade of Experience and a New Vision for the Future: Wednesday, March 14, 4:30-6:00 p.m., Hemisfair Ballroom C2
More information about NICEATM and ICCVAM presentations at SOT
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Feb 21, 2018
NEI Sponsors Competition to Develop In Vitro Retina Models

On February 13, the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, announced the 3-D Retina Organoid Challenge. This $1 million federal prize competition is designed to support development of lab-grown human retinas from stem cells. Organoids developed for the competition will mimic the structure, organization, and function of the human retina, the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye.

In the current phase of the challenge, NEI will award up to $100,000 each to as many as six teams whose models best address the challenge's scientific criteria. Participating teams must designate a captain who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Private entities participating must maintain a primary place of business in the United States. Federal offices or employees are not eligible to participate, and federal funds may not be used to develop submissions. Submission deadline is October 1; winners will be announced in December. Challenge details are available on the NEI website.

Oct 1, 2018
Feb 21, 2018
OECD Releases Update of QSAR Toolbox

On February 5, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) launched version 4.2 of QSAR Toolbox. QSAR Toolbox is a software application that governments, chemical industry, and other stakeholders can use to fill gaps in toxicity data needed to assess the hazards of chemicals. Features in version 4.2 include updated profilers and metabolic simulators. Five new databases include data on developmental toxicity, genotoxicity, food toxicity hazards, and bioaccumulation data. The ability to load text files containing CAS or SMILES has been restored. Other functionalities include clustering by profile/structure similarity, a new report generation system, and improved alert performance. More information about the update, links to download QSAR Toolbox, and background information are available on the OECD website.

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Feb 21, 2018
SOT Ancillary Meeting to Focus on Respiratory Toxicology

An ancillary meeting at the Society of Toxicology (SOT) annual meeting on Tuesday, March 12, will feature "Updates from Multi-stakeholder Collaborations to Advance Non-animal Approaches to Respiratory Toxicology." NICEATM Director Warren Casey and other speakers will discuss ongoing work to advance mechanistically based non-animal approaches to respiratory toxicology. The meeting is from 5:00-6:30 p.m. in Republic Room A-C at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio. It is open to the public and will include time for open discussion of the next steps needed to facilitate the implementation of these approaches.

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Feb 21, 2018
EPA Releases Strategic Plan

On February 12, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan states as one of the EPA's goals, to "Administer the law, as Congress intended, to refocus the Agency on its statutory obligations under the law." One of the objectives under this goal is to "prioritize robust science", which includes an intention to "Use ToxCast/Tox21 data to develop high-throughput risk assessments, particularly for chemicals for which adequate risk assessment information has been historically unavailable."

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Feb 21, 2018
Postdoc Opportunity Available with CCAAM

The University of Windsor in Windsor, Canada, invites qualified candidates to apply for a postdoctoral fellowship opportunity within the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods (CCAAM) and its subsidiary, the Canadian Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to interact with a diverse team of national and international interdisciplinary academics, industry partners, and regulators to advance CCAAM's goal of replacing animals in Canadian biomedical research, education, and regulatory testing through 21st-century science, innovation, and ethics.

The candidate must have a Ph.D. in a relevant field in science or mathematics, and should also have a basic understanding of statistics and computer programming ability. The ideal candidate will have experience in toxicogenomic, immunologic, biochemical, and molecular biology-based assay systems as well as knowledge and experience in physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modeling, read-across, trend analysis, quantitative structure-activity relationships models, and using adverse outcome pathways to investigate mechanisms of toxicity.

To apply for this position, please send your curriculum vitae with a cover letter describing your research background, interests, qualifications, and the reasons for your interest in CCAAM and its vision to CCAAM Executive Director Dr. Charu Chandrasekera.

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Feb 2, 2018
Abstracts Due February 2 for SOT Satellite Meeting on Organotypic Culture Models

Abstracts are due Friday, February 2, for a Society of Toxicology (SOT) Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology Meeting titled "Building a Better Epithelium: Breaking the Barrier to the Next Generation of Toxicity Testing." This satellite meeting of the SOT Annual Meeting will focus on the development and use of organotypic cultures as alternatives to 2-D cultures that integrate surrounding architecture components (e.g., stroma, extracellular matrix) and provide a better in vitro representation of the in vivo biology. Presenters will discuss emerging organotypic models that may inform mechanistic understanding, as well as practical considerations that are key to incorporating these tools into the next generation of in vitro research and safety evaluation.

The meeting will be held Saturday, March 10 in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. The meeting is open to SOT members and nonmembers; early-bird registration is open through February 9. There is a registration fee to attend the meeting but no additional fee is required to submit an abstract. For more information, visit the SOT website.

Feb 2, 2018
Feb 2, 2018
ASCCT Providing Funding to Attend International QSAR Conference

The American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) will provide funding for one student or postdoc from North America to attend the 18th International Conference on QSAR in Environmental and Health Sciences (QSAR2018). The conference will be held on June 11-15 at Hotel Golf in Bled, Slovenia.

Conference sessions will discuss regulatory use of quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) models; models for human health effects; models for ecotoxicological and environmental effects; protein-ligand interactions; and software and tools. More information about the conference is available on the conference website.

The ASCCT travel award will cover registration and provide $2000 towards travel and lodging for one student or postdoc. Applications should include:

  • The abstract the applicant plans to submit to the conference
  • A short (500 words or less) statement discussing the applicant's interest in QSAR
  • A note from the applicant's supervisor or advisor certifying student or post-doc status
Please email applications and any questions to ksullivan@ascctox.org. Applications are due by Wednesday, February 14.
Feb 14, 2018
Jan 30, 2018
ICCVAM Elects Co-chairs

At its January 24 meeting, ICCVAM elected Anna Lowit, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Emily Reinke, Department of Defense, to serve two-year terms as co-chairs of ICCVAM.

  • Lowit is a senior science advisor in the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs. She has been a member of ICCVAM since 2011 and has served as an ICCVAM co-chair since 2013.
  • Reinke is a biologist at the U.S. Army Institute of Public Health and has been an ICCVAM member since 2015. As co-chair of ICCVAM, Reinke succeeds Abigail Jacobs, who served as an ICCVAM co-chair from 2013 until her retirement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in September 2017.
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Jan 30, 2018
Society of Toxicology Announces 2018 Awardees

The Society of Toxicology (SOT) has announced recipients of its 2018 awards. Several of this year's awardees have connections to NICEATM or ICCVAM or have made important contributions to advancing alternatives to animal testing.

  • Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and NTP, will receive the Arnold J. Lehman Award. Named for a co-founder of SOT, the award recognizes an individual who has made a major contribution to risk assessment or the regulation of chemical agents. NICEATM is an NTP office.
  • Anna Lowit, senior science advisor in the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, will receive the Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award. The Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award recognizes contributions made towards the development and application of methods that replace, refine, or reduce the need for experimental animals. Lowit is co-chair of ICCVAM.
  • Robert Kavlock, acting assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Research and Development, will receive the SOT Merit Award, which recognizes distinguished contributions to toxicology throughout an entire career in areas such as research, teaching, regulatory activities, consulting, and service to the Society. Kavlock played a key role in establishing the EPA's ToxCast program and the federal interagency Tox21 research consortium.
  • Sreenivasa Ramaiahgari, NIEHS postdoctoral fellow, is lead author of the Toxicological Sciences article, "Three-dimensional (3D) HepaRG Spheroid Model with Physiologically Relevant Xenobiotic Metabolism Competence and Hepatocyte Functionality for Liver Toxicity Screening," which will receive a Best Postdoctoral Publication Award. Ramaiahgari's work is part of Phase III Tox 21 research ongoing at NTP.
Awards will be presented at the SOT Annual Meeting in March.
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Jan 30, 2018
Grants Available From IFER

The International Foundation for Ethical Research (IFER) is accepting pre-proposal applications for its 2018-2019 graduate fellowships. These one-year grants of up to $12,500 will be awarded to projects that support the development, acceptance, and implementation of innovative scientific methodologies that advance science and replace the use of animals in research, testing or education. Projects will also be considered in fields such as education, psychology, humanities, journalism, and the law that show promise to increase public awareness or to promote changes in the legal system or public policy regarding the use of animals in research, testing, and education. Grants are renewable annually for up to three years, dependent on student progress and availability of funds. Proposals will be accepted through April 30.

Apr 30, 2018
Jan 30, 2018
Travel Grants Available From the Burroughs Wellcome Fund

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund Collaborative Research Travel Grant program provides up to $15,000 of relatively unrestricted travel funds to faculty and postdocs at U.S. or Canadian degree-granting institutions. Grants must be used for domestic or international travel to another lab to learn new research techniques or begin or continue a collaboration to address biomedical questions. All proposals must be cross-disciplinary. Grants may not be used to travel to conferences, meetings, or courses.

All applicants will be required to complete a web-based questionnaire assessing their eligibility to apply for this award. Applications from eligible candidates require submission of a CV, biosketch, research plan and budget, and supporting letter from the host or collaborator. Applications are due February 1; more information is available on the Burroughs Wellcome Fund website.

Feb 1, 2018
Jan 30, 2018
U.S. Strategic Roadmap Published

ICCVAM has coordinated the development of "A Strategic Roadmap for Establishing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States." It describes a framework for safety testing that will provide more human-relevant toxicology data while reducing the use of animals. Prepared with support from NICEATM, it was published January 30.

Discussions among ICCVAM and its stakeholders over the last several years established that a national strategy is needed to ensure the safe, effective, and timely implementation of human-relevant predictive approaches in toxicity testing in the United States. In response, ICCVAM coordinated the development of this document during 2017 with participation from the 16 ICCVAM member agencies and multiple interagency workgroups, as well as input from a broad range of stakeholder groups. The strategic roadmap describes a new framework that will enable development, establish confidence in, and ensure use of new approaches to toxicity testing that improve human health relevance and reduce or eliminate the need for testing in animals.

Activities to implement the strategic roadmap goals are already underway. ICCVAM workgroups will develop detailed implementation plans to address roadmap goals, tailored to specific toxicological endpoints of concern. The NICEATM website includes an overview of roadmap implementation with links to summaries of planned activities in the areas of acute systemic toxicity, skin and eye irritation, and skin sensitization.

ICCVAM and NICEATM are developing a communication plan to broaden awareness of and invite engagement with the strategic roadmap. The first public discussion of the strategic roadmap with stakeholders will take place on Monday, March 12, at an ICCVAM exhibitor-hosted session at the Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting. Other opportunities for stakeholders to engage in advancement of the roadmap goals will be available at the ICCVAM Public Forum on May 24 and public events throughout 2018.

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Jan 19, 2018
ICCVAM Communities of Practice Webinar Next Tuesday

The fourth ICCVAM Communities of Practice webinar is scheduled for next Tuesday, January 23, at 1:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The webinar topic is "Machine Learning in Toxicology: Fundamentals of Application and Interpretation." NICEATM is organizing this webinar on behalf of ICCVAM.

This webinar will explore the fundamentals of machine learning approaches, including how they work, how they are interpreted, and precautions that should be taken when evaluating their output. Sean Ekins, Chief Executive Officer of Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer will address issues specific to machine learning approaches used in a regulatory context. Case studies will highlight where such techniques have been successfully applied both nationally and internationally.

The webinar is free and open to the public, although registration is required to attend. A link to registration and more information are available on the NICEATM website.

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Jan 19, 2018
NIEHS Offers Funding to Small Businesses for Toxicity Screening, Testing, and Modeling

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is offering funding for small businesses developing technologies of interest to the Tox21 program. These technologies include improved or expanded testing methods for toxicity screening, computational approaches for predictive toxicology, and other technologies such as alternative or improved methods for fixing and preserving tissues. The funding is being offered as part of the 2018 Omnibus Solicitation of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control, and Food and Drug Administration for small business grant applications to support development and commercialization of innovative technologies.

The next application deadline is March 5. Complete information about the grants is available on the NIH Grants website:

More information about these and other NIH grants is available on the NICEATM website.
Mar 5, 2018
Jan 19, 2018
Grants Available From ARDF

The Alternatives Research and Development Foundation (ARDF) Annual Open Grant Program funds research projects that develop alternative methods to advance science and replace or reduce animal use. Proposals are welcome from any nonprofit educational or research institution worldwide, although preference will be given to U.S. applications.

Expert reviewers will evaluate proposals based on scientific merit and feasibility and the potential to reduce or replace the use of animals in the near future. Proposals will be considered in fields of research, testing, or education. Pathway-based approaches that use in silico and in vitro methods with human cells or tissues are of particular interest. Proposals for projects that use intact, non-human vertebrate or invertebrate animals will not be considered.

Proposals will be accepted through May 1; awards up to $40,000 per project will be announced by July 17. More information is available on the ARDF website.

May 1, 2018
Jan 19, 2018
Registration and Abstract Submission Open for Meeting on High Throughput Screening and Environmental Risk Assessment

The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry will hold a meeting on High Throughput Screening and Environmental Risk Assessment, State of the Science and Emerging Applications on April 16-18 at the Durham Convention Center in Durham, North Carolina. This meeting will provide environmental toxicologists and risk assessors with an introduction to high throughput data and tools. Participants will learn about the state of the science of high throughput toxicology, and leave the meeting equipped to critically evaluate how these approaches can be employed in a broad range of environmental risk assessment scenarios.

Early-bird registration and free abstract submission end on February 14. For more information, visit the meeting website.

Feb 14, 2018
Jan 19, 2018
Report Available on World Congress Roundtable on Big Data

A roundtable discussion at the Tenth World Congress on Alternatives in August 2017 examined what big data means for replacement, reduction, and refinement of animal use in testing, and reviewed progress in the application of big data in this area. A summary of the roundtable, coauthored by NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, has been published as a guest editorial in Archives of Toxicology.

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Jan 09, 2018
ICCVAM Communities of Practice Webinar January 23

Registration is open for the fourth ICCVAM Communities of Practice webinar scheduled for January 23. The webinar topic is "Machine Learning in Toxicology: Fundamentals of Application and Interpretation." NICEATM is organizing this webinar on behalf of ICCVAM.

This webinar will explore the fundamentals of machine learning approaches, including how they work, how they are interpreted, and precautions that should be taken when evaluating their output. Sean Ekins, Chief Executive Officer of Collaborations Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer will address issues specific to machine learning approaches used in a regulatory context. Case studies will highlight where such techniques have been successfully applied both nationally and internationally.

The January 23 webinar will be held from 1:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. It is free and open to the public, although registration is required to attend. A link to registration and more information are available on the NICEATM website.

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Jan 09, 2018
USDA Issues Updated Guidance on Vaccine Testing Exemptions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Center for Veterinary Biologics recently added Veterinary Services (VS) Memorandum 800.116 Target Animal Safety Testing Exemption to its website. View all USDA VS Memoranda

VS Memorandum No. 800.116, signed in August 2017, replaces an earlier version issued in July 2013. The memorandum provides guidance to licensed firms on requesting an exemption under title 9, Code of Federal Regulations (9 CFR), part 113.4, to target animal safety testing as required for testing of live and inactivated vaccines and antibody products. Such exemptions can reduce animal use in facilities that have documented consistency in manufacturing processes and product safety.

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Jan 09, 2018
IVIVE Workshop Report Publicly Available Through February 23

A report of the February 2016 workshop, In Vitro to In Vivo Extrapolation for High Throughput Prioritization and Decision Making, and the preceding webinar series was published online December 5 by the journal Toxicology In Vitro. Toxicology In Vitro is making the workshop report publicly available to all readers, regardless of subscription status, through February 23.

The workshop report discusses activities and resources that promote inclusion of in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE) in regulatory decision-making. It considers properties of models that successfully generate predictions of in vivo doses from effective in vitro concentration, areas of success, and areas for improvement to reduce model uncertainty. Finally, the report provides case studies on the uses of IVIVE in safety assessments.

View materials from the workshop (co-organized by NICEATM and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Research and Development)

Feb 23, 2018
Jan 09, 2018
Biologist/Toxicologist Positions Available at EPA

The EPA Office of Pesticide Programs is hiring multiple toxicologists and biologists for its Health Effects Division, Antimicrobials Division, and Biopesticides & Pollution Prevention Division offices in Arlington, VA. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. The current application deadline is Wednesday, January 10, although this may be extended.

  • Applicants for the GS 9-11 level positions must have a bachelor's degree in biology, toxicology, or a related area and at least one year of experience reviewing toxicological studies, or have a master's or Ph.D. degree.
  • Applicants for the GS 12-13 level positions must have a bachelor's degree in biology, toxicology, or a related area and at least one year of experience developing hazard, dose response, and/or risk characterizations for chemicals.
Interested candidates with questions about the positions may contact Anna Lowit, Senior Science Advisor in the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, at Lowit.Anna@epa.gov or 703-308-4135.
Jan 10, 2018
Dec 22, 2017
ICCVAM Co-chair Lowit to Receive SOT Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award

Anna Lowit of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be awarded the Society of Toxicology (SOT) 2017 Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award. Lowit, a Senior Scientist in the EPA Office of Pesticide Programs, has been serving as co-chair of ICCVAM since 2013. She has played a key role in advancing EPA initiatives to reduce and eventually replace animal use for the "six-pack" of required acute toxicity tests for pesticide registration. During her tenure as ICCVAM co-chair, she has supported ICCVAM efforts to increase communication and collaboration with stakeholders, and played a key role in advancing international harmonization of non-animal tests for skin sensitization.

The Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award is presented annually to an SOT member to recognize contributions made towards development and application of methods that replace, refine, or reduce the need for experimental animals. Lowit will receive the award at the SOT annual meeting in March 2017 in San Antonio, Texas.

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Dec 22, 2017
ICCVAM Communities of Practice Webinar January 23

The fourth ICCVAM Communities of Practice webinar will be presented January 23, 2018, on the topic "Machine Learning in Toxicology: Fundamentals of Application and Interpretation." NICEATM is organizing this webinar on behalf of ICCVAM.

This webinar will explore the fundamentals of machine learning approaches, including how they work, how they are interpreted, and precautions that should be taken when evaluating their output. Two experts in the use of machine learning in toxicity testing applications will address issues specific to machine learning approaches used in a regulatory context. Case studies will highlight where such techniques have been successfully applied both nationally and internationally.

The January 23 webinar will be held from 1:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. It is free and open to the public, although registration is required to attend. A link to registration and more information are available on the NICEATM website.

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Dec 22, 2017
Grants Offer Support for Tissue Chip Development

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced several funding opportunities for research and development of microphysiological systems (MPS; "tissue chips") for studying human physiology and assessing toxicity and safety of new drugs and other substances. All of these funding opportunities are open to U.S.-based for-profit, non-profit, academic, and government institutions.

  • NIH is offering 1-2 year(s) of support for later stage research and development activities necessary support commercialization of MPS devices for drug efficacy and safety assessment prior to clinical trials. Details of this funding opportunity are available on the NIH Grants website. Applications are due March 21, 2018, and only one application will be accepted from an institution.
  • New and renewal cooperative agreement applications are invited for the Tissue Chip Testing Center MPS Data Center, which supports the NIH Tissue Chip Consortium. The MPS Data center will be the central clearinghouse for tissue chip data management and will incorporate novel approaches and technologies for data management, data mining, and data sharing across many organs and tissues, diseases, data types, and tissue chip platforms. Details of this funding opportunity are available on the NIH Grants website. Applications are due March 21, 2018, and only one application will be accepted from an institution.
  • NIH and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) are funding opportunities for conducting tissue chip research onboard the International Space Station. The NIH-CASIS Coordinated Microphysiological Systems Program for Translational Research in Space promotes the development of tissue chips to study human physiology in space and to assess biomarkers, bioavailability, efficacy, and toxicity of therapeutic agents prior to entry into clinical trials. Information about this grant opportunity is available on the NIH Grants website. The deadline for submitting proposals has been extended to February 8, 2018.
Mar 21, 2018
Dec 22, 2017
USDA Releases Guidance Documents on Animal Health

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the Animal Welfare Act, which sets standards for the humane care and treatment of animals used in research. USDA Animal Care has developed two Tech Notes for Animal Welfare Act licensees and registrants to help improve adherence to animal welfare standards.

  • "Incentives for Identifying, Reporting, Correcting, and Preventing Noncompliance with the Animal Welfare Act" describes resources available to help facilities address compliance challenges.
  • "Daily Observation" provides helpful tips and spotlights best practices used in daily observation of animals to assess health and well-being.
Publication of the two Tech Notes was announced in a December 15 USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service bulletin. The recent Tech Notes and other publications relevant to animal welfare are available on the USDA Animal Welfare website.
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Dec 19, 2017
Prediction Data Available: Predictive Models for Acute Oral Toxicity

The prediction data set is now available for the ICCVAM-sponsored global project to develop in silico models of acute oral systemic toxicity. The goal of this project is to develop in silico models that will predict five specific endpoints needed by regulatory agencies. Endpoints of interest include identification of "very toxic" chemicals (LD50 less than 50 mg/kg), "nontoxic" chemicals (LD50 greater than or equal to 2000 mg/kg), point estimates for rodent LD50s, and categorization of toxicity hazard using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling (GHS) classification schemes. Modelers may build predictive models for any or all of these endpoints.

Models will be developed and evaluated using rat acute oral toxicity data collected by NICEATM and the EPA National Center for Computational Toxicology. Models meeting criteria defined by the project organizing committee will be used to generate consensus predictions for the acute oral toxicity endpoints of interest. A summary of the project and developed models will be submitted for publication in the peer-reviewed literature, and the toxicity predictions generated by the models will be made available via EPA's Chemistry Dashboard.

Resources available on the project page include data files, timeline, and a downloadable document that specifies project objectives and scope, details on the data and processing steps, model evaluation criteria, and additional considerations for project participants. Model prediction results for both the training and prediction sets must be submitted by February 9, 2018. Project results will be presented at a workshop to be held at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, on April 11-12, 2018.

Feb 09, 2018
Dec 19, 2017
EPA Requests Nominees for Scientific Advisory Panel

EPA is seeking nominations of ad hoc members for its Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP). The FIFRA SAP will meet in 2018 to consider physiologically based pharmaokinetic models to address species differences in pharmacokinetics for pesticide active ingredients. The request for nominees was published in a December 18 Federal Register notice.

The FIFRA SAP provides scientific advice, information, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on pesticides and pesticide-related issues impacting health and environmental regulatory actions. Nominees to serve on the FIFRA SAP for the upcoming meeting should have expertise in areas including physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamic modeling, in vitro to in vivo extrapolation, human health risk assessment, neurotoxicity, and exposure assessment. Nominations should be submitted by January 17, 2018; the meeting will be scheduled and details announced after the panel members are selected.

Jan 17, 2018
Dec 18, 2017
NIDDK Offers Support for Development of Tissue Chips

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is establishing a new research consortium "Microphysiological Systems for Modeling Diabetes." This consortium will support the development and validation of human tissue chips that closely mimic the normal physiology of key metabolic tissues, including the pancreatic islet, liver, skeletal muscle, and white adipose tissue. An essential feature of this consortium will be a multidisciplinary approach that brings together basic science experts and physician scientists in stem cell biology, bioengineering, computational biology, pharmacology, liver biology, islet biology, adipose biology, metabolism and diabetes.

To establish the consortium, NIDDK intends to commit up to $3 million per year for Fiscal Years 2018 through 2019, and up to $6 million per year for Fiscal Years 2020 through 2022 to fund 2-3 awards. Eligible institutions include U.S.-based higher education institutions, nonprofits, for-profit organizations, and government entities.

Letters of intent are due February 20, 2018; applications are due March 20, 2018. Complete funding information is available on the NIH Grants website. Helpful information about applying for NIH grants is available on the NICEATM website.

Mar 20, 2018
Dec 18, 2017
IVIVE Workshop Report Available

A manuscript summarizing a February 2016 workshop, In Vitro to In Vivo Extrapolation for High Throughput Prioritization and Decision Making, and a preceding webinar series was published online December 5 by the journal Toxicology In Vitro. The workshop was co-organized by NICEATM and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Center for Computational Toxicology.

The workshop report discusses activities and resources that promote inclusion of in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE) in regulatory decision-making. It considers properties of models that successfully generate predictions of in vivo doses from effective in vitro concentration, areas of success, and areas for improvement to reduce model uncertainty. Finally, the report provides case studies on the uses of IVIVE in safety assessments.

View materials from the workshop

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Dec 18, 2017
EURL ECVAM Status Report for 2017 Available

The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) regularly publishes reports on the development, validation and regulatory acceptance of alternative methods and approaches. A report describing activities in this area since November 2016 is now available on the EURL ECVAM website.

The report describes EURL ECVAM participation in research projects; coordination and undertaking of validation studies; dissemination and sharing of information on replacement, reduction, and refinement of animal use; and promotion of dialogue towards the international acceptance and uptake of alternative methods and approaches. A key ongoing project is EU-ToxRisk, which is tackling complex health effects such as repeated-dose and reproductive toxicity. The VAC2VAC project is progressing the development, optimization, and evaluation of non-animal methods for routine batch testing of vaccines in order to avoid animal testing. Other research aims to integrate advances into experimental and computational biology and toxicology to link chemical exposure to potential adverse outcomes in humans and environmental species.

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Dec 07, 2017
FDA Launches Predictive Toxicology Roadmap

In an article published December 6 on the FDA Voice blog, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced publication of FDA's Predictive Toxicology Roadmap for integrating predictive toxicology methods into safety and risk assessments. The Predictive Toxicology Roadmap presents a framework for new or enhanced FDA engagement in the science of toxicology that includes six elements:

  1. An organizing committee to help identify areas where research is needed and reduce duplication of efforts
  2. Training in use of new test methods
  3. Communication among the Agency, sponsors, and test method developers
  4. Fostering collaborations across sectors and disciplines nationally and internationally
  5. Research to identify data gaps and promote promising technologies
  6. Oversight to track progress

FDA will be holding a public workshop as part of its efforts to foster opportunities for sharing ideas, discussing new technologies, and highlighting collaborations to develop and test new methods.

Read the complete blog post, with links to the Predictive Toxicology Roadmap and related activities

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Dec 07, 2017
Journal to Focus on Inhalation Toxicity

The journal Applied In Vitro Toxicology is accepting manuscript submissions for a special issue on alternative approaches for inhalation toxicity testing. Submissions must be received by December 15.

Inhalation toxicity testing provides information for hazard labeling and risk management of chemicals when there is potential for exposure of the respiratory tract. Regulatory test guidelines typically describe rodent tests. However, work is underway to develop reliable non-animal approaches for assessing inhalation toxicity that will provide more human-relevant data and a better understanding of the mechanism of toxicity. This special issue of Applied In Vitro Toxicology will explore the regulatory and non-regulatory needs for inhalation toxicity data and the alternative approaches that may be used to meet those needs.

More information about the special issue: questions about the special issue should be emailed to guest editor Amy Clippinger.

Dec 15, 2017
Dec 07, 2017
Proposals for Organotypic Culture Models Due December 12

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is offering Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants to develop novel in vitro systems using cells from experimental animal models typically used for toxicology testing. The intent is that these systems will replicate biological responses within the corresponding animal tissues or organs. When developed and validated, these systems will (1) provide information needed to predict toxicity of chemical and drug candidates, (2) enable comparisons with existing in vivo animal toxicity data, (3) serve as newer assays for toxicology testing, and (4) have the potential for reducing the numbers of animals used in toxicology testing.

These grants of up to $150,000 for Phase I awards and up to $1 million for Phase II awards are only available to U.S. small businesses. Letters of intent to apply for these grants are due December 12, with an application due date of January 12, 2018.

Read the funding announcement for this opportunity

Get more information about NIEHS SBIR grants

Dec 12, 2017
Dec 07, 2017
Informational Webinar on Tissue Chip Grants December 14

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) has partnered with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund new opportunities for conducting research onboard the International Space Station.

A free informational webinar discussing both opportunities will be presented Thursday, December 14, from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
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Dec 04, 2017
Keystone Symposia Conference in April on Organs-on-chips

Abstract submission and registration are now open for Keystone Symposia's upcoming conference on "Organs- and Tissues-on-Chips". The conference will review the state of the technology for microphysiological organs and tissues-on-chips. Attendees will also consider the challenges of gaining acceptance for these approaches as alternatives to traditional animal or simple two-dimensional in vitro testing, incorporating perspectives from regulators, drug developers, and tissue chip testing center laboratories.

The conference will be held April 8-12, 2018, in Big Sky, Montana. Scholarships of up to $1200 U.S. are available to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows enrolled or employed at academic institutions at the time of the meeting. Scholarship applications with research abstract must be received by December 6. The deadline for general abstract submission is January 9, 2018. Speakers for short talks will be chosen from all abstracts submitted. The deadline for discounted registration is February 6, 2018. For more information, please visit the Keystone Symposia website.

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Dec 04, 2017
CAAT Young Scientist Award: Deadline Extended to December 31

The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University is offering a Next Generation Humane Science Award to young scientists to acknowledge and encourage research to replace the use of animals in experiments. The 2017 award will be a prize of up to $9,000 to recognize the work of one young scientist, or the prize may be shared among two or more young scientists.

Applicants' research must be focused on the replacement of animals used in experimentation. To be eligible for the award, a candidate must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident working at a U.S.-based institution and have received a Ph.D. or similar degree no earlier than 2012.

The application deadline has been extended to December 31. To apply, visit the CAAT website.

Dec 31, 2017
Dec 04, 2017
EPA Webinar on Steroidogenesis Assay December 14

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will present a webinar titled "High-Throughput H295R Steroidogenesis Assay: Utility as an Alternative and a Statistical Approach to Characterize Effects on Steroidogenesis" on Thursday, December 14, from 11:00 a.m.-noon U.S. Eastern Time. The speaker is Dr. Derik Haggard, ORISE Postdoctoral Fellow with the EPA National Center for Computational Toxicology.

To access the webinar via Adobe Connect, go to the EPA web conferencing site. To listen in via telephone, call (866) 299-3188 (toll-free U.S.) or (706) 758-1822 (international toll number) and use the conference code 9195411522. Those in the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, area who would like to attend the seminar in person should email Cameron Clark.

This is the latest in EPA's Computational Toxicology Communities of Practice webinar series. Visit the EPA website for more information about the webinar series and slides and recordings from past webinars.

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Dec 04, 2017
AAALAC International Seeks Public Comment on Position Statement Revision

The Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC International) is seeking public comments on its proposed revision of the Position Statement on the Definition of "Laboratory Animals."

AAALAC International uses position statements to supplement its three primary standards used to evaluate animal care programs. The proposed revision of this Position Statement broadens it to apply to any animal used or intended for use in basic and applied scientific investigation, testing, the production of biological materials, and educational activities.

View the proposed revision and submit comments: comments must be submitted by December 22.

Dec 22, 2017
Dec 04, 2017
SOT Satellite Meeting to Focus on Organotypic Culture Models

A Society of Toxicology (SOT) Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology Meeting titled "Building a Better Epithelium: Breaking the Barrier to the Next Generation of Toxicity Testing" will be held Saturday, March 10, 2018. This satellite meeting of the SOT Annual Meeting will focus on the development and use of organotypic cultures as alternatives to 2-D cultures that integrate surrounding architecture components (e.g., stroma, extracellular matrix) and provide a better in vitro representation of the in vivo biology. Presenters will discuss emerging organotypic models that may inform mechanistic understanding, as well as practical considerations that are key to incorporating these tools into the next generation of in vitro research and safety evaluation.

The meeting will be held in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas. The meeting is open to SOT members and nonmembers; early-bird registration is open through February 9, 2018. Abstracts will be accepted through February 2, 2018; there is a registration fee to attend the meeting but no additional fee is required to submit an abstract. For more information visit the SOT website.

Feb 02, 2018
Nov 17, 2017
Data Available for Project on Predictive Models for Acute Oral Toxicity

NICEATM invites participation in a global project to develop in silico models of acute oral systemic toxicity that predict five specific endpoints needed by regulatory agencies. Data to train models for this project are now available.

ICCVAM agencies identified multiple endpoints of interest for this project, including identification of "very toxic" chemicals (LD50 less than 50 mg/kg), "nontoxic" chemicals (LD50 greater than or equal to 2000 mg/kg), point estimates for rodent LD50s, and categorization of toxicity hazard using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling (GHS) classification schemes. Modelers may build predictive models for any or all of these endpoints.

Models will be developed and evaluated using rat acute oral toxicity data collected by NICEATM and the EPA National Center for Computational Toxicology. Models meeting criteria defined by the project organizing committee will be used to generate consensus predictions for the acute oral toxicity endpoints of interest. A summary of the project and developed models will be submitted for publication in the peer-reviewed literature, and the toxicity predictions generated by the models will be made available via EPA's Chemistry Dashboard.

View detailed project information: resources available on this page include data files, timeline, and a downloadable document that specifies project objectives and scope, details on the data and processing steps, model evaluation criteria, and additional considerations for project participants. Prediction results from models on two different datasets (training and evaluation set) must be submitted by February 9, 2018. Project results will be presented at a workshop to be held at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, on April 11-12, 2018.

Feb 09, 2018
Nov 17, 2017
Workshop Examines Use of New Data Streams in Decision Making

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine will present a workshop on Understanding Pathways to a Paradigm Shift in Toxicity Testing and Decision Making on November 20-21 in Washington, DC.

Technological advances have led to new approaches to understanding the toxicity of chemicals in humans. However, many questions remain about whether and how to make the shift to using new data streams as the basis for the wide array of research, policy, and regulatory decisions. This workshop will explore key factors that influence how scientists, policymakers, risk assessors, and regulators incorporate new science into their decisions.

The workshop is free and will be webcast. More information and a link to registration are available on the National Academies website.

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Nov 17, 2017
NIEHS Webinar Series on Adverse Outcome Pathways Continues November 29

The Superfund Research Program of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is presenting a webinar series on adverse outcome pathways (AOPs), structured ways to represent biological events leading to adverse health effects. The second webinar in the series will be presented November 29. Presenters will discuss the development of AOPs and how they may be used to support hazard and risk assessment.

  • Carole Yauk of Health Canada will present an overview of AOP development.
  • Ed Perkins of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center will discuss how an AOP framework can be integrated with in vitro and in vivo data to support hazard and risk assessment.
  • Justin Teeguarden of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will discuss approaches to exposure assessment.
The webinar will be hosted on the EPA Contaminated Site Clean-Up Information website; registration is free. More information about the webinar series is available on the NIEHS website. This page has a link to a recording of the first webinar in the series, which introduced the AOP concept.

The webinar series provides background information for an April 2018 workshop on Understanding the Combined Effects of Environmental Chemical and Non-Chemical Stressors: Atherosclerosis as a Model. The workshop is being planned and public comments are welcomed: please visit the NIEHS website for details.

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Nov 17, 2017
FDA Requests Comments on Draft Guidance for Reproductive Toxicity Testing

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has requested comment on draft guidance ICH S5(R3), "Detection of Toxicity to Reproduction for Human Pharmaceuticals." This document clarifies the qualification and potential use of alternative assays to assess reproductive risk and includes a list of compounds suggested for qualification of assays. FDA recognizes that this list is not complete and is requesting information on potential additional compounds to be added to the list.

The draft guidance ICH S5(R3) is available on the FDA website. An announcement in the November 13 Federal Register includes instructions on submitting comments on the draft guidance. To ensure consideration as the guidance is finalized, comments should be received by February 12, 2018.

Feb 12, 2018
Nov 17, 2017
ICATM Position Paper on Skin Sensitization Available

A position paper by representatives of the International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods (ICATM) proposes practical ways to further promote the regulatory use and facilitate adoption of non-animal defined approaches for skin sensitization assessments. The paper, published online November 10 by Archives of Toxicology, is a work product of the October 2016 workshop, International Regulatory Applicability and Acceptance of Alternative Approaches to Skin Sensitization Assessment of Chemicals. The workshop was hosted by ICATM and the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal testing, and was attended by representatives from more than 20 international regulatory authorities, including representatives from NICEATM and ICCVAM.

The position paper abstract is available on PubMed. More information about the October 2016 workshop and ICATM

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Nov 17, 2017
Videocast Recording Available of November 2 EPA Meeting on Alternatives

A videocast recording is available of the November 2 public meeting, Alternative Test Methods to Reduce Vertebrate Animal Testing under the Toxic Substances Control Act, on the NIH Videocast website.

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act amended Section 4(h) of the Toxic Substances Control Act to require EPA to develop a Strategic Plan to promote the development and implementation of alternative test methods and strategies to reduce, refine or replace vertebrate animal testing. EPA held this public meeting to obtain input on development of the Strategic Plan. Interested parties may continue to provide input about the draft Strategic Plan through January 3, 2018, by submitting written comments to docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0559 at www.regulations.gov.

The meeting is summarized in an article on the Chemical Watch website that features comments by ICCVAM member Louis Scarano, EPA, and NICEATM Director Warren Casey.

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Nov 13, 2017
ICCVAM Initiates Project on Predictive Models for Acute Oral Toxicity

The ICCVAM Acute Toxicity Workgroup is initiating a global project to develop in silico models of acute oral systemic toxicity that predict specific endpoints needed by regulatory agencies. These endpoints include identification of "very toxic" chemicals (LD50 less than 50 mg/kg) and "nontoxic" chemicals (LD50 greater than or equal to 2000 mg/kg), point estimates for rodent LD50s, and categorization of toxicity hazard using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling (GHS) classification schemes. Modelers may build predictive models for any or all of these endpoints.

Models will be developed and evaluated using a large body of rat acute oral toxicity data collected by NICEATM and the EPA National Center for Computational Toxicology. Submitted models meeting defined criteria will be used to build consensus models for the acute oral toxicity endpoints of interest to regulatory agencies. It is envisioned that results of the project will be published in a high-profile journal, and the predictions will be made available via the EPA's Chemistry Dashboard.

Data for model development will be released November 17; data files and detailed project information will be available on the NTP website. Project participants will be asked to submit prediction results from their models on two different datasets (training and evaluation set) by February 9, 2018. Project results will be presented at a workshop to be held at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, on April 11-12, 2018.

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Nov 13, 2017
NC3Rs Offers Cash Prize for 3Rs Advances

The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) and GlaxoSmithKline are sponsoring an award of £30,000 (about $40,000 U.S.) to recognize an outstanding original contribution to scientific and technological advances in replacement, reduction, or refinement in animal use (3Rs) in the biological sciences. This award is open to researchers in academia and industry based anywhere in the world. Research must have been published or accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal since September 1, 2014. Nominations must be received by December 4. More information is available on the NC3Rs website.

Dec 04, 2017
Nov 13, 2017
NCATS Presents Webinar on Small Business Funding

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) actively supports development of alternatives to animal testing through its research programs and extramural grants. On Tuesday, November 14, NCATS will present a webinar on programs and funding that support small businesses and technology transfer organizations, including those involved in the development of alternative testing approaches. This free webinar will provide overviews of funding opportunities and focus areas and tips for submitting a successful grant application. Register to attend the webinar

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Nov 13, 2017
SOT Continuing Education Courses Focus on Alternatives

In conjunction with its 2018 annual meeting, the Society of Toxicology (SOT) will offer continuing education courses on March 11, 2018. Three of these include ICCVAM participation and focus on developing and using alternative methods.

  • ICCVAM member Suzanne Fitzpatrick, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will co-chair "The What, When, and How of Using Data from Alternative Testing Methods in Chemical Safety Assessments." This course will provide an overview of high throughput screening assays, in silico tools, and other emerging technologies. Case study exercises will demonstrate use of data from these approaches in different sectors.
  • NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, (NIEHS), NICEATM scientist David Allen (ILS), and ICCVAM Co-chair Anna Lowit (EPA), will present at "In Vitro Testing: Tales from the Real World." This course will discuss the application of in vitro, in silico, and in chemico tests to acute toxicity endpoints such as skin and eye irritation and skin sensitization.
  • ICCVAM member Joanna Matheson, Consumer Product Safety Commission, will present at "Consumer Products Safety Assessment: Progress in the Use of Alternatives to Animal Models." This course will provide an overview of the progress in the field of safety evaluation of consumer products ingredients using alternative approaches, including perspectives from regulators and method developers and case studies in use of alternatives with cosmetics and cleaning products.
Complete information about the SOT continuing education courses is available on the SOT website. Registration for the SOT annual meeting is required to attend the courses; the early-bird deadline for SOT registration is January 12, 2018.
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Oct 30, 2017
Public Meeting on EPA Plan to Promote Alternative Tests November 2

The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act amended Section 4(h) of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote the development and implementation of alternative test methods and strategies to reduce, refine, or replace vertebrate animal testing. The Act requires EPA to develop a Strategic Plan for this purpose by June 22, 2018.

EPA will hold a public meeting on November 2 to obtain input from interested parties and the public on the Agency's development of the Strategic Plan. EPA believes this early feedback will be important in developing a strong Plan. The Agency will consider input from the meeting and from written comments to develop a draft Plan that will be shared with the public for comment.

The meeting will be held from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Porter Neuroscience Research Center, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland. The meeting is open to the public with attendance restricted only by the space available, and will also be webcast. It is being co-organized by EPA and ICCVAM.

Get more information and register

Goals and objectives to inform the Strategic Plan are available on the EPA website at and may be used for discussion and comment during the meeting. Interested parties may provide input about the draft Strategic Plan during the meeting. Written comments may be submitted to docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2017-0559 at www.regulations.gov. The deadline for receipt of written comments is January 1, 2018.

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Oct 30, 2017
EPA Seeks Input on Endocrine Panel Questions: Webinar November 6

EPA will hold a virtual meeting on November 6 to get public input in advance of a November 28-30 meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP). Both meetings will focus on the topic of "Continuing Development of Alternative High-Throughput Screens to Determine Endocrine Disruption, focusing on Androgen Receptor, Steroidogenesis, and Thyroid Pathways."

The FIFRA SAP will meet in person on November 28-30 to discuss high-throughput screens to determine endocrine disruption. The purpose of the November 6 virtual meeting is to get input from the panel and the public on the draft charge questions for the in-person meeting.

Those wishing to make oral comments during the November 6 virtual meeting should register by noon on Wednesday, November 1. Those wishing to listen in on the meeting may register at any time. Written comments on the scope and clarity of the draft charge questions should be submitted to docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2017-0214 on www.regulations.gov by noon, November 1. More information about the virtual meeting and the FIFRA SAP are available on the EPA website.

Register for the virtual meeting

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Oct 26, 2017
Apply by November 30 for CAAT Young Scientist Award

The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University is offering the Next Generation Humane Science Award to young scientists to acknowledge and encourage research to replace the use of animals in experiments. The 2017 award will be a prize of up to $9,000 to recognize the work of one young scientist, or the prize may be shared among two or more young scientists.

Applicants' research must be focused on the replacement of animals used in experimentation. To be eligible for the award, a candidate must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident working at a U.S.-based institution and have received a Ph.D. or similar degree no earlier than 2012.

Applications are due no later than November 30. To apply, visit the CAAT website.

Nov 30, 2017
Oct 26, 2017
Report Recommends Dropping Dog Test Requirement in Japan

A report commissioned by the Japanese Food Safety Commission indicates that there is sufficient evidence to waive the requirement for a one-year repeat-dose test in dogs for pesticides. An October 18 press release by Humane Society International summarizing the report noted that if the Japanese government accepts the waiver recommendation, South Korea would be the last major economy to require such testing.

The report (in Japanese) is available on the Japanese Food Safety Commission website. Read the Humane Society International press release

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Oct 26, 2017
Groups Encourage Update of Animal Research Rules in U.S.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and three allied groups are advocating sweeping changes to U.S. animal research rules. Their proposal, described October 24 in the journal Science, would make a single federal research agency responsible for oversight of all research activities using animals, require less frequent lab inspections, and give researchers greater say in crafting new rules. In response to the proposal, animal welfare advocates have raised concerns that such changes would reduce needed oversight of animal use.

The AAMC proposal is part of an effort to address a provision of the 21st Century Cures Act, passed last year by Congress, which requires the NIH and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to reduce the "administrative burden" on U.S. researchers and institutions that use animals. NIH is required to publish recommendations on this provision by December 2018.

Read the Science article

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Oct 17, 2017
Scholarship Available for ScitoVation PBPK Course

The American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) and ScitoVation are offering a scholarship to attend ScitoVation's course on (PBPK) modeling in the 21st century. Attendees of this course will learn to apply PBPK modeling to translate the results of in vitro toxicity assays into estimates of safe human exposure. The course will be offered November 6-10, 2017, in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Registration and more information

The ASCCT scholarship is available to graduate students and postgraduates in their first postdoctoral appointment who have demonstrated interest in computational and in vitro toxicology. Those who have already registered for the course are eligible for the award. The award will cover course registration plus up to $1000 in travel cost reimbursement.

Please submit applications by October 20 to Miyoung Yoon (myoon@scitovation.com) and ASCCT Secretary Kristie Sullivan at ksullivan@ascctox.org. Applicants should provide a CV and a statement of up to 500 words summarizing their interest in computational and in vitro toxicology, why they would like to attend the course, and how it will help them in their career. The winner will be announced by October 25.

Oct 20, 2017
Oct 17, 2017
OECD Releases New Test Guidelines

On October 9, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released 17 new, updated, corrected, or deleted guidelines for the testing of chemicals. New or updated test guidelines include methods to address the safety of nanomaterials, tests for acute inhalation and acute dermal toxicity that use fewer animals, a new non-animal method for skin sensitization testing, and updates to incorporate integrated approaches to testing and assessment into test guidelines for eye irritation hazard. A list of newly released test guidelines, links to documents, and more information about the OECD Test Guidelines Programme are available on the OECD website.

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Oct 05, 2017
Grants Available to Support Alternative Methods Development

The Society of Toxicology (SOT) is accepting applications through Monday, October 9, for the following grant opportunities.

Oct 10, 2017
Sep 29, 2017
Presentations and Videocast of SACATM Meeting Available

Presentations from the September 18-19 meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) are available on the NTP website. Video recordings of the meeting are also available on the National Institutes of Health Videocast website.

SACATM meets annually to advise NICEATM, ICCVAM, and the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences regarding statutorily mandated duties of ICCVAM and activities of NICEATM. The main focus of the September 18-19 meeting was to receive input from SACATM on the proposed U.S. Strategic Roadmap for New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products.

The next meeting of SACATM will be held September 5-6, 2018, at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

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Sep 14, 2017 SACATM to Meet Next Week -
Sep 14, 2017
Award Offered to Attend IIVS In Vitro Toxicology Workshop

The PETA International Science Consortium (PISC) is offering an award to enable early-career scientists to participate in the Practical Methods for In Vitro Toxicology Workshop. The workshop will be presented by the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS) in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on January 16-19, 2018. It will include lectures from experts on in vitro toxicology and hands-on laboratory experience in applying in vitro methods.

The award will cover workshop registration ($1,950 U.S.), as well as airfare and hotel expenses up to $1,000 U.S. Graduate students who have completed their first year of study and postdoctoral fellows are eligible to apply. The winner must attend the entire four-day workshop. For more information and to apply, please visit the PISC website. The deadline to apply is October 15; the winner will be announced in November.

Oct 15, 2017
Sep 14, 2017
NICEATM and ICCVAM Activities at ASCCT Annual Meeting

The American Society of Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) will hold its sixth annual meeting on September 21-22 at IIVS in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Day 1 will focus on alternatives to animal use for acute toxicity testing and feature a plenary presentation by ICCVAM Co-chair Anna Lowit of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The focus of Day 2 will be the directives for use of alternatives to animal testing included in the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act, with ICCVAM member Louis Scarano of EPA giving a plenary speech. Other meeting activities include a poster session and reception, a mentoring event, and a tour of the IIVS laboratories.

Registration for the meeting is still open and a full agenda is available on the ASCCT website. A summary of NICEATM and ICCVAM activities is available on the NICEATM website.

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Sep 14, 2017
SOT and FDA Present Free Webinar October 24

The Society of Toxicology (SOT) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition will present a colloquium on October 24 on In Vitro to In Vivo Concordance for Toxicity Prediction and Use in Safety Assessments. This program is the latest in the series SOT FDA Colloquia on Emerging Toxicological Science: Challenges in Food and Ingredient Safety. The October 24 colloquium will feature expert reviews on state-of-the-art in vitro technologies for safety assessment and how they are being utilized.

The colloquium will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the FDA Wiley Federal Building in College Park, Maryland, and will also be webcast. Registration for either in-person attendance or webcast viewing is free. In-person attendance is available to U.S. federal employees only, and those planning to attend in person must register by October 10. More information is available on the SOT website.

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Sep 17, 2017
Registration Open for SACATM Meeting; Comments Due September 11

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) will meet September 18-19 at the Natcher Conference Center, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland. SACATM meets annually to advise NICEATM, ICCVAM, and the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) regarding statutorily mandated duties of ICCVAM and activities of NICEATM. The main focus of the upcoming meeting is to receive input from SACATM on the proposed U.S. Strategic Roadmap for New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products.

The SACATM meeting is open to the public and attendance is free. Registration is now open to attend the meeting in person or view the webcast. Those wishing to submit written comments or register to present oral comments at the meeting should do so by Monday, September 11. Links to registration, an agenda, and all meeting materials are available on the NTP website.

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Sep 17, 2017
NIEHS Offers Grants for Development of Culture Models

NIEHS is providing grants for development of novel in vitro systems using cells from experimental animal models typically used for toxicology testing. The intent is that these systems will replicate biological responses within the corresponding animal tissues or organs. When developed and validated, these systems will provide information needed to predict toxicity of chemical and drug candidates, enable comparisons with existing in vivo animal toxicity data, serve as newer assays for toxicology testing, and have the potential for reducing the numbers of animals used in toxicology testing.

These grants of up to $150,000 for Phase I awards and up to $1 million for Phase II awards are only available to U.S. small businesses. Applications will be accepted starting December 12, with an application due date of January 12, 2018. Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow time before the due date to correct errors that may be found in the application. Details about the grants are available on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website.

Jan 12, 2018
Sep 17, 2017
Challenge Supports Development of Biomedical Research Models

The Alternatives Research and Development Foundation is sponsoring the Alternatives in Research (AiR) Challenge. The AiR Challenge is intended to stimulate innovative research that advances medical progress using methods that do not involve animals. Up to five grants of $20,000 each will be awarded to projects that employ new or modified disease models, new uses of existing models, or new or modified techniques in biomedical research applications. Proposals will be judged by a scientific advisory committee on their scientific merit and feasibility, potential impact in their area of biomedical research, and their potential ability to replace or reduce the use of laboratory animals.

Only U.S. academic, government, or small business institutions are eligible for the AiR Challenge awards, and no proposals that use intact non-human vertebrate or invertebrate animals will be considered. Pre-proposals must be submitted by October 5, with full proposals due December 15. More information is available on the Alternatives Research and Development Foundation website.

Information about this and other funding opportunities for alternative methods development is available on the NICEATM website.

Dec 15, 2017
Sep 17, 2017
New Review Describes Use of AOPs in EPA Screening Program

A review in the September issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives describes how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses adverse outcome pathway (AOP) and toxicity pathway frameworks in its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. The review, co-authored by NICEATM Director Warren Casey, describes how these frameworks help to establish biologically plausible links between endocrine mechanisms and apical responses when those end points are not measured in the same assay.

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Aug 31, 2017
NTP to Present Webinars on Genomic Dose-response Modeling

An ongoing NTP webinar series focuses on the use of genomic features to assess dose-related response to test article treatment. The first two webinars, presented August 30 and September 1, discuss approaches to genomic dose-response modeling being explored by NTP and the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, respectively. Webinars to be presented later in September will discuss methods developed at North Carolina State University and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

The webinars are free and open to the public. More information is available on the webinar series webpage; recordings of past webinars will also be available on this page.

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Aug 31, 2017
Registration Open and Agenda Available for ASCCT Annual Meeting

The Sixth Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) will be held September 21-22 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Day 1 of the meeting will focus on alternatives to animal use for acute toxicity testing, while Day 2 will focus on the directives for use of alternatives to animal testing included in the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act.

Registration for the meeting is open and a full agenda is available on the ASCCT website. ASCCT will accept abstracts for poster presentations on any topics related to in vitro and computational toxicology through this Friday, September 1; abstract submission details are available on the meeting webpage.

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Aug 31, 2017
Small Business Grant Deadline September 5

As part of a large Department of Health and Human Services solicitation of Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grant applications, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is providing support for development of technologies to improve predictivity in toxicology testing to support the goals and initiatives of Tox21.

The next application deadline for these grants is next Tuesday, September 5. Details about the grants are available on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website; additional information and resources are available on the NICEATM website.

NIH recognizes that businesses affected by Hurricane Harvey may find it difficult to meet the upcoming deadline and will consider accepting applications late on a case-by-case basis under specific circumstances. An announcement describing implementation of relevant NIH policies for businesses affected by Hurricane Harvey is available on the NIH website.

Sep 05, 2017
Aug 31, 2017
EPA Requests Comment on Candidates for Advisory Panel

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will hold a meeting of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) on November 28-30 in Arlington, Virginia. The FIFRA SAP provides scientific advice, information, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on pesticides and pesticide-related issues as to the impact of regulatory actions on health and the environment. The November meeting will focus on "Continuing Development of Alternative High-Throughput Screens to Determine Endocrine Disruption, focusing on Androgen Receptor, Steroidogenesis, and Thyroid Pathways."

A list of ad hoc candidates to serve on the panel at the November meeting has been posted on the EPA website. EPA is accepting comments on the candidates through Thursday, September 7. Comments on panel nominees should be provided to the Designated Federal Official, Dr. Todd Peterson, via email at peterson.todd@epa.gov or telephone at (202) 564-6428.

Sep 07, 2017
Aug 31, 2017
Proceedings and Presentations from Tenth World Congress

In its latest issue, the journal ALTEX Proceedings has published all abstracts from the Tenth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences. The issue is available on the ALTEX website. View a list of NICEATM and ICCVAM presentations at the Tenth World Congress

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Aug 15, 2017
Workshop on Expanding Nonanimal Research at World Congress

NICEATM Director Warren Casey will join experts from a broad range of stakeholder groups to discuss "Breaking Through Scientific and Cultural Barriers to Expand Nonanimal Research." This interactive workshop will be held Sunday, August 20, from 3:30-6:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel in Seattle, Washington, and is organized by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

The event is being held in conjunction with the Tenth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences. However, you do not have to be registered for World Congress to attend. Attendance is free but those planning to attend should RSVP.

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Aug 15, 2017
OECD Releases New Version of QSAR Toolbox

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has launched version 4.1 of QSAR Toolbox. QSAR Toolbox is a software application that governments, chemical industry, and other stakeholders can use to fill gaps in toxicity data needed for assessing the hazards of chemicals. Features in version 4.1 include updated profilers and metabolic simulators along with new databases, functionalities, and migration tools. More information about the update, links to download QSAR Toolbox, and background information is available on the OECD website.

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Aug 15, 2017
19th Annual HHS SBIR/STTR Conference

The 19th Annual HHS Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Conference will convene on November 7-9, 2017 at the Hilton Milwaukee Conference Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

This meeting is designed to educate attendees about the SBIR and STTR programs, and how to develop competitive proposals and secure awards. Representatives from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Small Business Administration (SBA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Administration for Community Living (ACL) will be present. The HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will also attend to give presentations and answer questions during one-on-one meetings.

More information about the meeting, including a draft agenda and registration information is available on the Medical College of Wisconsin website.

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Aug 15, 2017
NC3Rs Workshop Report Published

The U.K. National Centre for the Replacement Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) has published a report from the February 2017 workshop "Applying Exposure Science to Increase the Utility of Non-Animal Data in Efficacy and Safety Testing." The workshop, organized in collaboration with Unilever, was attended by 83 expert scientists from government, academia, and the (agro)chemical, consumer products, and pharmaceutical industries. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer gave a presentation entitled "Incorporating exposure driven approaches and in vitro data into regulatory decision making" as part of the workshop. The report is available for download from the NC3Rs website.

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Aug 08, 2017
OECD Issues Guidance Relevant to Alternative Methods Development

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently issued two guidance documents relevant to alternative methods development:

A full list of OECD guidance documents for chemical safety testing is available on the OECD website.
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Aug 08, 2017
NIH to Hold Small Business Workshop

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will hold a Multi-Institute Small Business Workshop September 7-8 in New Orleans. This event will inform attendees about the NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs, which provide support for researchers developing new methods for testing of chemicals. The workshop will feature presentations from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and other institutes, and provide detailed guidance for applying to these funding programs and successfully managing an award. Attendees will interact with SBIR/STTR program staff, investors, commercialization experts, and successful entrepreneurs. There is no charge to attend the event. Register and get more details

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Aug 08, 2017
Opportunity Available for Regulatory Science Advisor

Humane Society International and the Humane Society of the United States are seeking a Regulatory Science Advisor – Toxicology to work in North America on regulatory affairs and corporate outreach. The successful applicant will have a number of communications and outreach responsibilities focused on accelerating regulatory acceptance and corporate use of scientifically valid alternative non-animal test methods and strategies in the North American chemicals and pesticides sectors. The position requires an M.S. or Ph.D. in toxicology or a related discipline with at least five years' experience in a government regulatory position or industry regulatory affairs role. It will be located at either the Washington, DC, or Montreal, Canada, office of HSI, and thus candidates must be eligible to work in either the United States or Canada. More information is available on the ChemicalWatch website; applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and writing sample to Aviva Vetter at avetter@hsi.org by August 28.

Aug 28, 2017
Jul 31, 2017
USDA Exemptions Help Reduce Live Animal Use in Leptospira Vaccine Potency Testing

Leptospirosis is a transmissible bacterial disease of animals and humans caused by infection with any of the pathogenic members of the genus Leptospira. The organism is shed in the urine and milk of infected animals and may cause symptoms of renal and hepatic disease, which could be fatal. Disease transmission to man and animals is reduced by the vaccination of cattle, swine, and dogs. In light of this, the potency of these vaccines must be tested by law.

In April 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture–Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service–Center for Veterinary Biologics (USDA-APHIS-CVB) issued CVB Notice 17-06, "Option to Remove Back-titration Hamsters from In Vivo Potency Tests for Leptospira Serogroups Pomona and Grippotyphosa." This notice permits the removal of back-titration hamsters when potency testing vaccines containing L. pomona and L. grippotyphosa in accordance with 9 CFR 113 §101-104. This exemption to the codified test can reduce animal use up to 50% for these serogroups. CVB Notice 17-06 along with the 2015 CVB Notice 15-13, "Option to Remove Back-titration Hamsters from In Vivo Potency Tests for Leptospira Serogroups Canicola and Icterohaemorrhagiae" are available on the USDA-APHIS website.

CVB Notice 17-06 is the latest action in a continuing effort by USDA, an ICCVAM member, to reduce the number of hamsters required for potency testing of leptospirosis vaccines. In 2013, APHIS issued Veterinary Services Memorandum No. 800.102, which permitted the use of the in vitro ELISA test developed by CVB as a complete alternative to live animal usage required under 9 CFR 113 §101-104. CVB provides supplemental assay methods for in vitro testing using the ELISA test. All of these documents are available on the NICEATM website.

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Jul 31, 2017
NICEATM and ICCVAM Activities at World Congress

NICEATM and ICCVAM scientists will be active participants at the Tenth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, which runs August 20-24 in Seattle, Washington. ICCVAM members will co-chair four presentation sessions and participate on roundtable panels on regulatory issues and big data. NICEATM and ICCVAM scientists will also share their latest work in 16 oral and poster presentations. A full list of NICEATM and ICCVAM activities at World Congress is on the NICEATM website.

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Jul 18, 2017
Toxics Accepting Applications for Postdoc Travel Award

The journal Toxics is accepting applications for a travel award from postdoctoral fellows or trainees involved in toxicology research. The award of 800 Swiss francs (approximately $800 U.S.) will support travel to an international conference in 2018 at which the awardee will give an oral or poster presentation.

Applicants should submit the following to toxics@mdpi.com by November 30:

  • A 500-word description of current and future work
  • CV including complete publication list
  • A description of the conference to be attended and the work to be presented
  • A letter of recommendation from the applicant's supervisor or PI
Applications will be assessed by an evaluation committee chaired by Toxics Editor-in-chief Prof. Dr. David Bellinger. The winner will be announced in January 2018.
Nov 30, 2017
Jul 18, 2017
World Congress Late-breaking Abstracts Due July 31

Late-breaking abstracts will be accepted through July 31 for the Tenth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, which runs August 20-24 in Seattle, Washington. Full instructions for submitting late-breaking abstracts are available on the World Congress website, as are the complete scientific program, registration and housing information, and other conference information.

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Jul 18, 2017
Slides Available from BioMed21 Workshop

Presenters' slides from the June 26-27 workshop "BioMed21 – A Human Pathway-based Approach to Disease and Medicine" are now available. The presentations from government, academic, and industry scientists addressed how to implement a human systems-biology platform for understanding disease and improving interventions.

The workshop was co-organized by NICEATM and the Human Toxicology Project Consortium. In addition to the presentations, an overview of the workshop and background materials are available on the NICEATM website.

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Jul 05, 2017
ASCCT Abstract Submssion Deadline Extended

The deadline for abstract submissions for the annual meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology has been extended to July 10. ASCCT will consider abstracts relevant to replacement of animal use for acute systemic toxicity testing or implementation of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act for oral presentations during the plenary sessions focused on these topics. ASCCT also welcomes submission of abstracts on other topics relevant to in vitro and computational toxicology and will consider these for oral or poster presentations. Authors will be notified of abstract acceptance by August 1.

The meeting is September 21-22 at the Institute for In Vitro Sciences in Gaithersburg, MD. More information about the meeting, a preliminary program, and a link to register are available on the ASCCT website.

Jul 10, 2017
Jun 28, 2017
Small Business Phase II Grants for Alternative Methods Development

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is funding grants to U.S. small businesses for development of medium- to high-throughput assays. Assays developed under these grants should evaluate the effects of toxicants on pluripotent or induced pluripotent cells with respect to cell differentiation and the resulting differentiated cell populations. The ability to incorporate genetic diversity in these assays would be useful. Results from these assays should help identify mechanisms of chemically induced biological activity, prioritize chemicals for more extensive toxicological evaluation, and support more predictive models of in vivo biological response.

Letters of intent for this funding opportunity are due September 4, with applications due October 4.

Full funding announcement on NIH website (posted June 23)

Information about applying for NIEHS small business grants

More information about funding opportunities for alternative methods development

Oct 04, 2017
Jun 28, 2017
World Congress Early Bird Registration Deadline Extended

Register by July 10 to get early discounted registration for the Tenth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences. Full registration includes admission to all scientific events and exhibitions for the duration of the meeting, August 20-24. One-day and accompanying person registration options are also available. Registration information and other meeting details, including a list of plenary speakers, are available on the meeting website.

Jul 10, 2017
Jun 28, 2017
Computational Biologist Position Available

UES, Inc., is seeking a computational toxicologist for a position at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine. The position will focus on the development and application of kinetic and statistical models that use data from physiology, biology, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, and exposure characterization. The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in biology, environmental toxicology, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, pharmacology, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, or other related discipline, with a rigorous foundation in applied and quantitative science. Experience with at least one programming or scripting language is required. Experience with computational modeling is preferred, as is experience working with biological data from toxicity, metabolism, and pharmacokinetic studies. The successful candidate should also have experience in risk and exposure assessments. Strong communication skills and a willingness to collaborate are essential. Candidates must be U.S. citizens. A complete job description and a link to apply are available on the UES website.

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Jun 23, 2017
Canadian Centre for Alternative to Animal Methods Established

A June 15 news article announced the establishment of the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods (CCAAM). CCAAM and its subsidiary, the Canadian Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods, aim to promote the use of non-animal methodologies in biomedical research, education, and chemical toxicity testing. CCAAM will conduct multidisciplinary biomedical research to understand human health and disease using only human-based biomaterials and methods. In partnership with Health Canada and other Canadian regulators, CCAAM will expedite the development, validation, and acceptance of alternative chemical testing methods. CCAAM will also train the next generation of scientists, ethicists, and policy makers through its academic degree program in Animal Replacement Science at the University of Windsor.

More information about CCAAM

University of Windsor news article announcing CCAAM's establishment

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Jun 23, 2017
European Committee Issues Opinion on Non-human Primate Use

Following a request from the European Commission, the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) issued an updated opinion on the need for non-human primates in biomedical research, production, and testing of medical products and devices. The SCHEER opinion, adopted by the committee at its May 18 meeting, notes that the current state of knowledge precludes proposal of a timetable for phasing out non-human primate use in Europe at this time. However, the opinion provides recommendations of how to replace, reduce, and refine use of non-human primates for these purposes, and identifies research that should be done to advance the replacement of non-human primates with non-animal methods.

Links to the SCHEER opinion and plain-language summaries of the opinion

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Jun 23, 2017
Postdoctoral Fellow Opportunity in Computational Toxicology at NIEHS

A computational toxicology postdoctoral fellowship is available at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The successful candidate will develop and apply computational methods, tools, and applications across projects in the areas of computational toxicology, bioinformatics, and computational biology. Candidates should have a Ph.D. in computational biology, computer science, biomedical engineering, bioinformatics, or a related discipline. Programming skills are required, ideally in R and/or Python. Experience in Bayesian modeling, deep belief networks, and the application of computational methods to high throughput screening data are highly desirable. Excellent verbal and written communication skills and the ability to simultaneously work on a variety of diverse projects are essential.

The position is in the Computational Toxicology group in the Biostatistics and Computational Biology Branch of the NIEHS Division of Intramural Research. The Computational Toxicology group is led by NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer. To apply, send curriculum vitae including publication list, brief summary of past/current research, and the names of three references to nicole.kleinstreuer@nih.gov.

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Jun 23, 2017
NICEATM Research Featured in Special Issue of Reproductive Toxicology

NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer is a coauthor of three articles in a special issue of Reproductive Toxicology that focuses on developmental angiogenesis. The three articles coauthored by Kleinstreuer describe projects conducted with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other collaborators that use high throughput screening assays to identify and characterize potential vascular disrupting chemicals. Other articles in the issue describe basic research into the mechanism of angiogenesis and new alternative models for identifying potential vascular disrupting chemicals.

June issue of Reproductive Toxicology (volume 70, pages 1-140)

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Jun 23, 2017
Save the Date: Regulatory Summit USA in October

The fifth annual Chemical Watch Regulatory Summit USA will be held October 18-19 in the Washington, DC, area. One half-day session of the program will focus on the impact of recent updates to the Toxic Substances Control Act. Other sessions will review current regulatory initiatives in U.S. states, Canada, Europe, and other regions. Speakers will represent regulatory agencies, academia, industry, and NGOs. Registration for the meeting is open and a preliminary program available on the Chemical Watch website.

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Jun 16, 2017
Registration Extended for BioMed21 Workshop on Human Disease Pathways

Registration has been extended for the June 26-27 workshop "BioMed21: A Human Pathways Approach to Disease Research." The workshop will explore existing systems biology projects and approaches, and consider how these projects might be better coordinated to optimally improve disease understanding and interventions. Speakers include scientists from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, and pharmaceutical industry collaborators.

The workshop, organized by NICEATM and the Human Toxicology Project Consortium, will be held at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. An updated agenda is available on the NICEATM website. If you would like to attend the workshop in person, please register by Thursday, June 22. Participants who are not able to attend in person can register to view a webcast of plenary sessions.

Jun 22, 2017
Jun 16, 2017
Small Business Grants Available for Alternative Methods Development

The Department of Health and Human Services has released a new solicitation of Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer applications for grants funded by the National Institutes of Health and other agencies. Included in this solicitation are funding opportunities for technologies to improve predictivity in toxicology testing offered by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. More information about the grant solicitation and other funding opportunities is available on the NICEATM website.

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Jun 16, 2017
EPA Announces Meetings, Requests Nominations of Panel Members

The Environmental Protection Agency will hold two meetings of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel (FIFRA SAP) in the coming months. Both meetings will be held at EPA in Arlington, Virginia. The FIFRA SAP provides scientific advice, information, and recommendations to the EPA Administrator on pesticides and pesticide-related issues impacting health and environmental regulatory actions. EPA is requesting nominations for experts to serve as ad hoc members of the FIFRA SAP for each of these meetings. Nominations for either panel should be submitted by July 21.

The Oct. 24-27 FIFRA SAP meeting will consider and review physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling to address pharmacokinetic differences between and within species. Nominees to serve on the expert panel for the meeting should have expertise in areas including physiologically based pharmacokinetic modeling, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamic modeling, in vitro to in vivo extrapolation, human health risk assessment, neurotoxicity, and exposure assessment.
Read the Federal Register notice containing the meeting announcement and request for nominees

The Nov. 28-30 FIFRA SAP meeting will consider and review the "Continuing Development of Alternative High-Throughput Screens to Determine Endocrine Disruption, Focusing on Androgen Receptor, Steroidogenesis, and Thyroid Pathways." Nominees to serve on the expert panel for the meeting should have training and experience in computational model development, high-throughput assay development, biostatistics and performance-based validation, as well as general expertise in toxicology, physiology, biochemistry, endocrinology, and epidemiology.

Read the Federal Register notice containing the meeting announcement and request for nominees

Jul 21, 2017
Jun 06, 2017
ECHA Report Shows Wide Use of Alternatives

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has issued its third report on the use of alternative methods under REACH. The report shows that most registrants consider and use alternatives to animal testing. The most common alternative method, read-across, uses information on similar substances to predict toxicity. Read-across has been particularly useful for human health endpoints such as developmental and reproductive toxicology. Other frequently used approaches include weight-of-evidence analysis and QSAR prediction. A press release and the full report are available on the ECHA website.

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Jun 06, 2017
Nominations Open for the 2017 Lush Prizes

Nominations are open through July 24 for the 2017 Lush Prizes. To promote alternatives to animal testing for consumer products, Lush Cosmetics will award up to £350,000 in prizes to recipients in the areas of science, training, public awareness, and lobbying, and to promising young researchers in the field. Researchers working anywhere in the world may nominate themselves or others for the prizes; however, individuals or organizations awarded prizes in 2016 are not eligible for the 2017 prizes. Detailed information about the prizes is available on the Lush Prize website.

Jul 24, 2017
Jun 06, 2017
Symposium on Friday, June 9: Toxics in Everyday Life

The UCLA Center for Occupational and Environmental Health is presenting the free, one-day symposium "Toxics in Everyday Life." The symposium will describe what "toxics" are, where they can be found, and how they can affect consumers and workers. Speakers will also describe how people can protect themselves and what business and advocacy groups are doing to protect people from toxic exposures. The symposium will be held this Friday at the UCLA School of Law in Los Angeles, and plenary sessions will be webcast.

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Jun 06, 2017
NTP Update Newsletter

Articles in the June issue of the NTP Update newsletter summarize the ICCVAM Public Forum and preview the upcoming "International Symposium on Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Laboratory Animal Studies" to be held at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in August.

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Jun 05, 2017
Slides and Video Available from ICCVAM Public Forum

Presenters' slides and the webcast recording of the May 23 ICCVAM public forum are now available. Presentations at this year's public forum included updates from eight ICCVAM member agencies, as well as summaries of ICCVAM's interactions with several international organizations.

NICEATM Director Warren Casey presented a plan for the development of a U.S. strategic roadmap to establish new approaches for evaluating chemical safety. The roadmap was the focus of most of the public comments presented at the meeting. Upcoming opportunities to comment on the roadmap include the June 29 meeting of the NTP Board of Scientific Counselors and the September 18-19 meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods.

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Jun 05, 2017
Agenda Available for BioMed21 Workshop on Human Disease Pathways

An agenda is available for the June 26-27 workshop "BioMed21: A Human Pathways Approach to Disease Research." The workshop will explore existing systems biology projects and approaches, and consider how these projects might be better coordinated to optimally improve disease understanding and interventions. Speakers include scientists from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, and pharmaceutical industry collaborators.

The workshop, organized by NICEATM and the Human Toxicology Project Consortium, will be held at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Registration is open now; participants may attend in person or view a webcast of plenary sessions.

Jun 16, 2017
Jun 05, 2017
ASCCT to Present June 8 Webinar on Neurotoxicity Screening

The American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) will present a webinar on "Combination of Multiple Neural Crest Migration Assays to Identify Environmental Toxicants from a Proof-of-concept Chemical Library." Johanna Nyffeler of the University of Konstanz, Germany, will describe a study that evaluated the ability of in vitro cell migration assays to identify developmental neurotoxicants.

The webinar is scheduled for Thursday, June 8, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The webinar is free and open to both ASCCT members and non-members. Register for the webinar

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Jun 05, 2017
Conference on Inflammation, Aging, and Chronic Disease

Registration is open for the "Inflammation, Aging and Chronic Disease Conference" at Stanford University on November 27-28. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer will speak at the conference in a session titled "Environment and Immune Modulation."

Chronic inflammation is now widely accepted as a common mechanism of many diseases associated with aging, including cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and cardiovascular disease. In this conference organized by the Institute for Immunity, Transplantation and Infection, Stanford School of Medicine, participants will discuss critical aspects of the "exposome" and its relation to inflammation, possible mechanisms that trigger both the onset and resolution of inflammation, and the links between maladaptive immune responses and tissue damage in aging.

Abstracts are being accepted through July 15; early discounted registration dates are available through August 15. More information is available on the Stanford University website.

Jul 15, 2017
May 24, 2017
OpenTox USA Abstract Deadline Extended to May 31

OpenTox USA 2017, focused on "Application of In Vitro-In Silico Approaches in Toxicology, Safety Assessment, and Regulation," will be held July 12-13 at the Searle Conference Center, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. The meeting's five sessions will cover: application of omics data in safety assessment; data management and knowledge sharing infrastructures; adverse outcome pathway development; integrated approaches to testing and assessment; and exposure assessment.

Registration is open for the meeting, and the deadline for submitting poster abstracts has been extended to May 31. A full program for the meeting and links to register and submit abstracts are available on the OpenTox website.

May 31, 2017
May 24, 2017
June Workshop to Focus on Human Disease Pathways

A June 26-27 workshop at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, will focus on human pathway-based approaches to disease and medicine. The "BioMed21" workshop will explore existing systems biology projects and approaches, and consider how these projects might be better coordinated to optimally improve disease understanding and interventions.

The workshop is being organized by NICEATM and the Human Toxicology Project Consortium. Registration is open now on the NICEATM website; participants may attend in person or view a webcast of plenary sessions.

Jun 16, 2017
May 24, 2017
Grants Offered to Support Review Articles

Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States are offering grants of up to $10,000 to support the development and open-access publication of in-depth, independent review articles. Each review will focus on a specific area of human disease, evaluate the human relevance and limitations of conventional research models, and offer recommendations for optimizing the funding and use of advanced, human-specific tools and approaches.

Applicants should be health researchers with Ph.D. or equivalent degrees employed in the academic, private, or public sectors of the United States, Canada, European Union, or South Korea. Retirees from such positions are also eligible to apply. Applications will be accepted from single authors or groups. Grantees' publications must be submitted to and accepted for publication by a high-visibility, peer-reviewed journal. Lead authors of grantees' publications will also be expected to attend a workshop in early 2019 to explore the findings and recommendations of funded review articles and to contribute to a subsequent workshop report.

The application deadline is June 30; successful grantees will be notified by July 17. More information is available on the Human Toxicology Project website.

Jun 30, 2017
May 24, 2017
OECD and ECHA to Present June 1 Webinar on QSAR Toolbox Development

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) will present a webinar to demonstrate the new features of the OECD's QSAR Toolbox Version 4.0 resource. The QSAR Toolbox is a software application that governments, chemical industry, and other stakeholders can use to fill gaps in toxicity data needed for assessing the hazards of chemicals.

In the webinar, OECD will present a brief overview of the purpose and history of the QSAR Toolbox, review basic concepts and organization of the Toolbox, and explain where to get support for Version 4.0. ECHA will present practical examples for the use of the QSAR Toolbox v4.0, with focus on the new functionalities.

The webinar is scheduled for June 1 at 6:45 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (12:45 p.m. Europe Summer Time). Register for the webinar on the OECD WebEx site. A previous presentation by ECHA of the basic functionalities of Version 4.0 of QSAR Toolbox is available on YouTube; those planning to attend the June 1 webinar are encouraged to watch the YouTube video before the webinar.

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May 11, 2017
OECD Group Approves Proposal for Test Guideline Development

An OECD committee has approved a proposal to develop a performance-based test guideline for defined approaches for skin sensitization. If ultimately adopted by the OECD, this test guideline will make it easier to validate and implement non-animal testing methods for skin sensitization.

Skin sensitization testing, currently primarily performed using mice and guinea pigs, is required by regulatory agencies worldwide for a variety of chemical products. Skin sensitization is a complex process, and replacing animal testing with non-animal methods requires data from several methods to be considered in combination to adequately predict toxic effects. Defined approaches are a means by which data from several non-animal test methods can be considered in combination. They combine input data from several specific sources, such as non-animal test methods or computational models, using an objective data interpretation procedure such as a machine-learning model, flowchart, or decision tree.

The test guideline proposal was developed by NICEATM and ICCVAM scientists working with Canadian and European collaborators in the International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods. The proposal was approved by the Working Group of National Coordinators of the OECD Test Guidelines Programme at its meeting in April.

Approval of the proposal allows for the establishment of expert groups and conduct of meetings to develop a performance-based test guideline for defined approaches for skin sensitization. Performance-based test guidelines describe characteristics that constitute acceptable performance for a general class of test methods that, while differing in protocol details, are all intended to measure the same biological effect. Approval of a performance-based test guideline for defined approaches for skin sensitization is expected to allow regulatory authorities to more readily accept defined approaches for skin sensitization testing, which will advance the goal of elimination of animal use for skin sensitization testing worldwide.

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May 11, 2017
Free Webinar: OECD QSAR Toolbox for Beginners

A free ChemicalWatch webinar on Tuesday, May 16, will provide a comprehensive overview of the recently released Version 4.0 of QSAR Toolbox. The QSAR Toolbox, developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, is a software application that governments, chemical industry, and other stakeholders can use to fill gaps in toxicity data needed for assessing the hazards of chemicals. The webinar will include an interactive question-and-answer session with the audience and speakers.

The webinar is at 9:00-10:30 a.m. EDT (2:00-3:30 p.m. British Summer Time). Register for the webinar on the ChemicalWatch website. Registrants who are unable to view the live webinar will have access to a recording and slides from the webinar. More information about QSAR Toolbox is available on the OECD website.

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May 03, 2017
ASCCT Meeting September 21-22; Abstract Submission Open

The 6th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology is scheduled for September 21-22, 2017, at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) office in College Park, MD. The September 21 plenary session will focus on the advancement of alternatives for acute toxicity testing, and the September 22 plenary session will focus on the alternative methods requirements of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act and the use of in vitro and computational methods to address those requirements. The meeting will also include a poster session, mentoring and networking opportunities, and a reception and awards ceremony.

Abstracts for presentations at the meeting are due July 1. Abstracts relevant to the plenary session themes will be considered for oral presentations during these sessions. Submission of abstracts on all topics related to cellular and computational toxicology are also welcomed for oral and poster presentations. Authors will be notified of abstract acceptance August 1.

Details on the meeting and abstract submission are available on the ASCCT website; registration and a draft agenda will be available soon.

Jul 01, 2017
May 03, 2017
Registration Open for ICCVAM Public Forum

Registration is open to attend the ICCVAM public forum on May 23 at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. ICCVAM holds annual public forums to share information and facilitate direct communication of ideas and suggestions from stakeholders. ICCVAM agencies will give presentation on their activities relevant to the ICCVAM mission. This year's forum will also provide an opportunity for stakeholder input on an effort to establish a U.S. national strategy to explore new approaches for evaluating the safety of chemicals and medical products in the United States.

More information about the public forum and links to register to attend in person or view the webcast are available on the NICEATM website. Those planning to attend in person are encouraged to preregister by May 12.

May 12, 2017
May 03, 2017
NICEATM Deputy Director, Collaborators Comment on Progress Toward Animal Replacement

NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer and a number of NICEATM collaborators in academia, industry, and animal welfare organizations commented on progress toward replacing animals for chemical safety testing in the April 24 issue of Chemical and Engineering News. The article "Big Data, Big Deadlines Spur Change in Toxicity Testing" is available on the C&E News website.

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May 03, 2017
FDA Reaches Food Safety Agreement with Australia

FDA has signed an arrangement with the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources recognizing that their food safety systems are comparable. This recognition means that the FDA and Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources are confident that they can leverage each other's science-based regulatory systems to ensure food safety, and establishes a framework for regulatory cooperation in a variety of areas ranging from scientific collaboration to outbreak response. FDA has similar agreements with New Zealand and Canada.

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Apr 20, 2017
FDA Partners with Industry to Develop Organs-on-Chips

On April 11, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a multi-year research and development agreement with Emulate, Inc., to evaluate the company's "Organs-on-Chips" technology in laboratories at the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. The project will focus first on developing a liver chip, but the agreement may expand in the future to kidney, lung, and intestine models. The ultimate goal is to predict how specific organs will respond to potential chemical hazards found in foods, cosmetics, or dietary supplements more precisely than with current methods.

More details about the agreement are available in an FDA blog article by FDA ICCVAM representative Suzanne Fitzpatrick.

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Apr 10, 2017 Registration Open for ICCVAM Public Forum May 12, 2017
Apr 10, 2017
OECD Releases Update of QSAR Toolbox

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has released version 4.0 of QSAR Toolbox. The QSAR Toolbox is a software application that governments, chemical industry, and other stakeholders can use to fill gaps in toxicity data needed for assessing the hazards of chemicals.

Version 4.0 of QSAR Toolbox features:

  • Automated and standardized workflows for skin sensitization and short-term toxicity to fish
  • Improved customizable reports
  • An updated software system
  • Expansion of databases with the introduction of reliability scores for alerts and databases
  • Enhanced ADME information and improved presentation
The QSAR Toolbox can be downloaded from the OECD website. This page includes detailed information about QSAR Toolbox and the new features in version 4.0.
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Mar 31, 2017
Input Requested on U.S. Strategic Roadmap for New Approaches for Evaluating Chemical Safety
Aug 31, 2017
Mar 24, 2017
OECD Releases Guidance Document on Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment

OECD recently released a "Guidance Document for the Use of Adverse Outcome Pathways in Developing Integrated Approaches for Testing and Assessment (IATA)". This guidance document is intended to:

  • Provide a framework for developing and using IATA
  • Describe how IATA can be based on the adverse outcome pathway concept
  • Provide examples on how AOPs can be used in the development of IATA
IATA provide a means for combining the data from different testing methods, with the objective of predicting chemical toxicity more accurately than with any single test method.

The OECD Programme on Hazard Assessment addresses chemical hazards. One of the programme's current efforts is on the development and application of IATA and the collation of comments on new hazard assessment methodologies.

More information on IATA can be found at the OECD website. The new guidance document can also be downloaded from this page.

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Mar 03, 2017
New Agency Joins ICCVAM

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has joined ICCVAM. NIST participation will provide ICCVAM with interest and experience in the study of process controls, measurement artifacts, and interlaboratory testing.

ICCVAM was established to facilitate and promote development and regulatory acceptance of new toxicological tests with the potential to replace, reduce, or refine animal use. The expertise within NIST will benefit ICCVAM, especially in the development of 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 to ICCVAM additional expertise in experimental design and statistical analysis.

This event represents the first time ICCVAM has expanded its membership to include a new member agency since its inception in 2000. NIST, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has been interacting with ICCVAM since 2015. The agency submitted an official request to join ICCVAM in January 2017, which was approved in February by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Director Linda Birnbaum.

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Mar 03, 2017 NICEATM and ICCVAM Activities at SOT -
Feb 15, 2017
New Release of Effectopedia Site Available

Effectopedia is an open-knowledge and structured platform to display quantitative information on adverse outcome pathways (AOPs). This collaborative tool is designed to facilitate interdisciplinary efforts for delineating AOPs in an encyclopedic manner with greater predictive power.

The new release of Effectopedia features:

  • A stable and user-friendly experience, supported by online training material (videos, introduction tutorials)
  • Quantitative features that support entry of dose- and time-response data and can be used to derive response-to-response relationships
  • New functionalities for model development and interaction
  • Workflow support that allows users to create and save their AOPs locally or publicly
Explore the new Effectopedia features on the new Effectopedia website. Effectopedia is supported by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. More OECD resources supporting development of AOPs are available on the OECD website.
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Jan 20, 2017
Advisory Committee Applications Due January 31

The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) is recruiting new members for its Scientific Advisory Committee. The ESAC acts as a scientific peer-review body that provides EURL ECVAM with opinions on the adequacy and outcome of formal validation studies of alternative methods, typically in the context of regulatory safety assessment.

Eligible applicants must have a postgraduate university degree and at least 10 years of subsequent experience in relevant fields, have sufficient oral and written English fluency, and have not served on the ESAC since 2009. Applicants will be evaluated for their competence in scientific areas relevant to alternative methods development and their experience in regulatory and safety assessment of chemicals, validation practice, analyzing complex information, and providing scientific advice at a national or international level. Applications are due January 31. More information is available on the EURL ECVAM website.

Jan 31, 2017
Jan 20, 2017
Risk Assessment Training Opportunity for Young Scientists

The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission will hold a "Summer School on Alternative Approaches for Risk Assessment" on May 16-19. The Summer School will be hosted by the Centre's Chemical Safety and Alternative Methods Unit in Ispra, Italy. Tailored for postgraduate students and young scientists, the Summer School aims to give insight into principles and methodologies of human health and environmental risk assessment from a scientific, regulatory, and industrial perspective with a focus on alternative (non-animal) methods.

Attendance is limited to students and scientists who have completed their Ph.D. or master's degree within the last four years. Applicants must provide a letter of motivation, including one professional reference, and a poster abstract. Selection of participants (100 maximum) will be based on the clarity, relevance, and quality of the application and the relevance of the Summer School to current area of study or job. Preregistration for the Summer School is open until February 14. More information is available on the JRC website.

Feb 14, 2017
Jan 06, 2017
National Academies Report: Using 21st Century Science to Improve Risk-related Evaluations

A report released January 5 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine makes recommendations on the best ways to incorporate emerging science into risk-based evaluations of chemical safety. The report, "Using 21st Century Science to Improve Risk-related Evaluations", was prepared at the request of the four Tox21 partner organizations: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The new report discusses both the inherent opportunities and the challenges that will need to be met to achieve the vision described in two earlier National Research Council reports, "Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century" and "Exposure Science in the 21st Century."

The new report can be read online or downloaded as a free PDF from the National Academies Press website. National Academies Press is also accepting pre-orders for purchase of the paperback edition.

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Jan 06, 2017 ICCVAM Communities of Practice Webinar January 24 -
Jan 06, 2017 NICEATM to Present Webinar Series on Zebrafish Screening -
Jan 06, 2017 PISC Accepting Proposals for In Vitro Inhalation Exposure Systems -
Jan 04, 2017
EPA Launches Voluntary Pilot Program to Reduce Animal Testing

On December 20, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched a voluntary pilot program to evaluate the usefulness and acceptability of a mathematical tool that estimates the toxicological classification of a chemical, and published guidance on how pesticide companies can submit data for the program. This program is another step toward EPA's goal of reducing animal testing by adopting better testing methods, as described in the March 2016 Letter to Stakeholders issued by Office of Pesticide Programs Director Jack Housenger.

The mathematical tool, known as the GHS Mixtures Equation, is used in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Use of the GHS Mixtures Equation can reduce animal use for oral and inhalation toxicity studies of pesticide formulations.

To evaluate the GHS Mixtures Equation, EPA requests submission of acute oral and acute inhalation toxicity study data paired with mathematical calculations (GHS Mixtures Equation data) to support the evaluation of pesticide product formulations. EPA expects that the pilot will run for approximately six months but will begin data analysis sooner if enough data is received.

More information about the pilot program and instructions for submitting data are available on the EPA website.

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Dec 23, 2016
Dutch Government Announces Plan to Phase Out Animal Safety Testing

The Dutch government has announced a plan to phase out animal use for safety testing on chemical substances, food ingredients, pesticides, and medicines by the year 2025. On December 15, the Netherlands National Committee for the Protection of Animals Used for Scientific Purposes (NCad) presented a roadmap for reducing animal use to the Dutch Agriculture Ministry. The roadmap document, "Transition to Non-animal Research," is available on the NCad website, as is a press release about the document.

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Dec 23, 2016 NTP Level of Concern Study Phase 2 Recruitment -
Dec 23, 2016
NICEATM Research Featured in Special Issue of Reproductive Toxicology

NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer is senior author on one article and co-author on a second article to be included in a special issue of Reproductive Toxicology focused on developmental angiogenesis. The articles describe collaborations among NICEATM, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other investigators to use transgenic zebrafish to test predictions made using adverse outcome pathways on how chemicals can disrupt blood vessel formation during development. Links to the articles by McCollum et al. and Tal et al. are available on the NICEATM publications page.

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Dec 14, 2016
New EPA Guidance for Testing Pesticides Will Reduce Animal Testing

On November 30, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published "Guidance for Waiving Acute Dermal Toxicity Tests for Pesticide Formulations and Supporting Retrospective Analysis." The new guidance expands the potential for data waivers for acute dermal studies and includes a policy statement to waive all acute lethality dermal studies for formulated pesticide products. EPA expects this waiver guidance to reduce the use of laboratory animals, potentially up to 2,500 or more each year. The guidance document is available on the EPA website.

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Dec 14, 2016
Allen to Receive SOT Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award

David Allen has been named recipient of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) 2017 Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award. Allen, of Integrated Laboratory Systems, Inc., is principal investigator on the NICEATM support contract. He is also past president of SOT's In Vitro and Alternative Methods specialty section and current president of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology.

The Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award is presented annually to an SOT member to recognize contributions made towards the development and application of methods that replace, refine, or reduce the need for experimental animals. Allen will receive the award at the annual SOT meeting in March 2017 in Baltimore, MD.

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Dec 14, 2016
New Methods Added to European TSAR Resource

Several new non-animal methods are now available on the Tracking System for Alternative Methods Towards Regulatory Acceptance (TSAR) website.

TSAR was developed by the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) to track the progress of alternative non-animal methods for testing chemicals or biological agents. TSAR provides a summary description of each method as well as information on the method's validation status. Where available, TSAR includes records and documents associated with each step in a method's validation.

The TSAR website includes information on methods being considered by member and observer organizations of the International Cooperation on Alternative Testing Methods (ICATM). The ICATM collaboration addresses three critical areas of cooperation: test method validation studies, independent peer review of the validation studies, and the development of formal recommendations on alternative testing methods. ICATM member organizations include EURL ECVAM, Health Canada, ICCVAM, the Korean Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods, the Japanese Center for the Validation of Alternative methods, and observers representing Brazil and China. Additional information about ICATM is available on the NICEATM website.

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Dec 14, 2016 NICEATM-EPA AR Pathway Article Named Editors' Choice -
Nov 29, 2016
NLM Requests Stakeholder Input for Strategic Plan

In a November 8 Request for Information, the National Library of Medicine announced that it is soliciting stakeholder input as part of its ongoing strategic planning process. The RFI and NLM's planning process are organized around the role of NLM in these four areas:

  • Advancing data science, open science, and biomedical informatics
  • Advancing biomedical discovery and translational science
  • Supporting the public's health: clinical systems, public health systems and services, and personal health
  • Building collections to support discovery and health in the 21st century
The November 8 RFI is intended to obtain public input on goals and priorities for NLM's next strategic plan. Many NLM stakeholders replied to a similar RFI in 2015 in the context of NLM's leadership transition and emerging NIH data science priorities. Input provided in 2015 is already under consideration and does not need to be re-submitted.

The deadline for responses to the November 8 RFI is January 9, 2017. More information about the RFI, including how to submit input, is available on the NIH Grants website.

Jan 09, 2017
Nov 04, 2016
Kleinstreuer Receives Lush Cosmetics' Young Researcher Prize

In a November 2 ceremony, NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer received the Lush Cosmetics' Young Researcher Prize recognizing efforts to eliminate animal use for chemical safety testing. Five researchers in the Americas received the honors presented at Lush Cosmetics headquarters in Vancouver.

Kleinstreuer is the first U.S. federal government employee to receive a Lush Prize. She is also part of a group of U.S. federal employees named as finalists for the Science prize for advancing non-animal approaches to identify endocrine-active substances. Lush Prize winners in this and other categories will be announced later in November.

A list of the 2016 Young Researcher Prize winners from the Americas and more information about the Lush Prize are available on the Lush Prize website. Video summaries of the prize winners' work are available on the Lush Cosmetics website.

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Nov 04, 2016 NICEATM Requests Data on Zebrafish Embryo Chemical Screening Dec 30, 2016
Nov 04, 2016
Resources From the National Library of Medicine: ToxTutor and ALTBIB

The National Library of Medicine has updated its online ToxTutor course. ToxTutor is a self-paced tutorial for users of NLM chemical and toxicology databases that covers the key principles of toxicology. The ToxTutor update incorporates recent advances in the science of toxicology, provides more information on alternatives to animal testing, and features responsive design to support use on mobile devices. ToxTutor is available on the NLM website.

A December 8 NLM webinar will introduce new users to the NLM database ALTBIB: Resources for Alternatives to the Use of Live Vertebrates in Biomedical Research and Testing. The webinar will describe the history, purpose, and scope of ALTBIB, identify key people who work on ALTBIB, and demonstrate the features of the resource. Participants will gain hands-on experience with practice exercises and leave the webinar with a sense of what ALTBIB can and cannot do for animal alternative searches. The webinar is free and open to residents of the United States.

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Oct 28, 2016
NTP Requests Data on Alternative Methods to Assess Inflammation or Exaggerated Immune Responses

The National Toxicology Program at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences requests available data and information on approaches and/or technologies currently used to identify substances with the potential to cause excessive inflammation or exaggerated immune responses leading to tissue injury when swallowed, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. Submitted information will be used to assess the state of the science and determine technical needs for non-animal test methods that could be used to evaluate the potential of chemicals to induce inflammation and immune-related conditions.

Read the Federal Register notice announcing the data request

Submit data and information: please submit data and information by December 12.

Dec 12, 2016
Oct 28, 2016
Training Videos Available for Cell-based Testing Methods

The Institute for In Vitro Sciences has released a technical training video that describes a cell-based in vitro method for assessing phototoxicity, the potential for chemicals to cause damage upon exposure to light. The video is available in English, with subtitled versions available in Chinese and Portuguese. It is designed to help scientists from industry and regulatory agencies perform these animal-saving methods in their own laboratories. A previous video describing methods for eye irritation testing is also available in all three languages.

IIVS is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of non-animal test methods. Production of both the phototoxicity and eye irritation videos was supported by the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing, a partnership between industry and the European Commission that supports replacement, reduction and refinement of animal use for meeting regulatory requirements.

Read press release announcing the phototoxicity videos

Access all IIVS videos on YouTube

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Oct 03, 2016
Advisory Committee Discusses Roadmap for Replacing Six Acute Toxicity Tests

The Scientific Advisory Committee for Alternative Toxicological Methods met at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences on September 27, 2016. SACATM advises NICEATM and the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods on NICEATM and ICCVAM activities. ICCVAM agencies outlined a roadmap for the replacement of animals for the six most commonly used acute toxicity tests. SACATM input was requested on the proposed effort to develop a strategy for the implementation of human-based predictive approaches for complex toxicological endpoints resulting from repeat dose studies, such as developmental toxicity and carcinogenicity. Materials from the meeting are available on the SACATM past meetings webpage.

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Oct 03, 2016
Raymond Tice Honored by ARDF

Raymond Tice, former NICEATM Deputy Director and NTP Biomolecular Screening Branch chief, received the William and Eleanor Cave Award from the Alternatives Research and Development Foundation. The William and Eleanor Cave Award is given to recognize contributions to advancing alternatives to the use of animals in testing, research, or education. The award was presented September 29 in a ceremony at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology.

Tice, who retired from NTP in 2014, served as NICEATM Deputy Director from 2005 until assuming leadership of the Biomolecular Screening Branch in 2008. The ARDF award recognized him for his efforts in those roles to lead the interagency Tox21 high-throughput testing program. In her remarks at the award ceremony, ARDF President Sue Leary recognized this work as "a key factor in implementing a plan and moving forward a vision that will benefit human health and spare animals." As part of the award, Tice received a $10,000 honorarium, half of which he donated to establish a student award program for the ASCCT.

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Oct 03, 2016 NICEATM Presents at ASCCT Annual Meeting -
Sep 12, 2016
NICEATM Director Participates in Congressional Briefing

NICEATM Director Warren Casey was a panelist for a September 13 Congressional briefing on "Alternatives to Animal Testing: Emerging Uses and Policy Implications." Casey and other panelists discussed how to use non-animal and alternative toxicology and safety testing methods to better protect consumers and public health while using fewer animals. Topics considered included how to spark research that advances the development and application of alternatives, as well as what policy discussions are required to ensure regulatory frameworks can adapt while realizing the fastest possible innovation. The briefing was organized by the American Chemical Society and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School for Public Health, and sponsored by the offices of Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Ken Calvert (R-CA).

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Sep 12, 2016
Computational Biology Symposium at NIH September 16

PLoS Computational Biology is presenting a Computational Biology Symposium on the National Institutes of Health campus on Friday, September 16, from 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Keynote speakers will include Dr. David J. Lipman of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, Dr. Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and Dr. Bert Vogelstein of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutes. The agenda also includes two discussion panels comprised of PLoS Computational Biology editors from a range of fields. The morning panel will consider the "Biggest Challenges and Greatest Opportunities in Computational Biology over the Next 10 Years," while the topic of the afternoon panel is "How Computational Biology Will Affect Human Health."

The symposium is open to all National Institutes of Health staff and the wider community. Attendance is free and no preregistration is required. More information is available on the PLoS website. The symposium will also be webcast; more information about the webcast is available on the NIH Videocast website.

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Sep 12, 2016
FDA Seeks Comment on Draft Guidance for Toxicokinetics Studies

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notice in the September 8 Federal Register requested comments on draft guidance titled "ICH S3A Guidance: Note for Guidance on Toxicokinetics: The Assessment of Systemic Exposure in Toxicity Studies—Questions and Answers." The draft guidance facilitates interpretation of the "S3A Guidance: The Assessment of Systemic Exposure in Toxicity Studies," especially to address the benefit and use of microsampling techniques in main study animals. The Q&A guidance is intended to provide points to consider before incorporating the microsampling method in toxicokinetic studies, and acknowledges the benefits (and some limitations) of the use of microsampling. Comments on the draft guidance are requested by December 7.

Dec 07, 2016
Sep 12, 2016 Save the Date: World Congress to Be Held August 2017 in Seattle -
Sep 12, 2016 NICEATM Workshop Report Recognized as an NIEHS Paper of the Month -
Aug 31, 2016 U.S. Strategy and Roadmap for Implementing 21st Century Toxicity Testing Approaches -
Aug 31, 2016 Funding Opportunity for Alternative Methods Development -
Aug 31, 2016
OECD Issues Document Series on Adverse Outcome Pathways

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has issued a new series of documents relevant to development of adverse outcome pathways (AOPs). An AOP organizes existing information about biological interactions and toxicity mechanisms into a model that describes how a chemical exposure might cause a toxic effect or disease. In recognition of the key role that AOPs will play in development of predictive approaches to toxicity testing, OECD established its AOP Development Programme in 2012.

The newly issued documents, including a User's Handbook that provides practical instructions for AOP developers and reviewers, are available on the OECD iLibrary website. More information on the AOP Development Programme is on the OECD website.

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Aug 31, 2016
Chips in Space: Webinar September 6

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space are promoting a new program for research on the International Space Station United States National Laboratory (ISS-NL): we're sending tissue chips to space! This program will leverage recent advances in tissue engineering and microfabrication to create microphysiological systems and organ-on-chip technology platforms to better understand the molecular and cellular basis of human disease in microgravity. Translation of this research to the ISS-NL promises to accelerate the discovery of molecular mechanisms that underlie a range of common human disorders and advance understanding of therapeutic targets and treatments in a reduced fluid shear, microgravity environment that recapitulates cellular and tissue matrices of Earth.

An informational webinar will be held September 6 to provide interested investigators an opportunity to learn more about the Chips in Space initiative. Presenters will include investigators experienced in developing spaceflight experiments for the ISS-NL.
Register for the webinar
Read more information about the Chips in Space initiative

NCATS has published a notice of intent to publish a funding opportunity for this initiative. Grant applications are not currently being solicited, but interested investigators are encouraged to begin developing meaningful collaborations and responsive projects.

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Aug 31, 2016
UK Project Seeks to Reduce Animal Use for Drug Development

Current regulatory guidelines in many countries require safety and tolerability data from two animal species, a rodent and a non-rodent, before first administration of potential new medicines to humans. The United Kingdom National Centre for the Replacement Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) is collaborating with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry to review data with the goal of determining whether data from one species could be sufficient for the progression of a potential new drug into human clinical trials.

While a number of companies have already committed to this effort, NC3Rs is still seeking biopharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations to participate and contribute data to this project. Those interested should contact Helen Prior at NC3Rs. More information about the project is on the NC3Rs website.

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Aug 31, 2016
FDA Seeks Comment on Proposed Amendments to GLP

A Proposed Rule published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the August 24 Federal Register describes amendments to the regulations for good laboratory practice (GLP) for nonclinical laboratory studies. The new amendments will require a complete quality system approach, referred to as a GLP Quality System, when safety and toxicity studies support or are intended to support applications or submissions for products regulated by FDA. FDA is proposing additional management responsibilities and standard operating procedures consistent with the proposed requirement for a GLP Quality System. In addition, the testing facility definition will be revised to reflect current practices for the conduct of nonclinical laboratory studies, particularly multisite studies. These proposals are intended to build quality into planning, conducting, and reporting a nonclinical laboratory study and to help ensure data quality and integrity. Comments on the Proposed Rule are due by November 22.

Nov 22, 2016
Aug 17, 2016 ICCVAM 2014-2015 Biennial Progress Report Now Available -
Aug 17, 2016
OECD Publishes Guidance Document on Waiving or Bridging of Acute Toxicity Tests

On August 2, OECD published "Guidance Document on Considerations for Waiving or Bridging of Mammalian Acute Toxicity Tests." This document, designated number 237 in OECD's Series on Testing and Assessment, provides guidance on approaches to minimize the use of animals for acute toxicity testing.

  • Bases for waiving a study include information derived from the physicochemical properties of a test substance or an expectation of potential for little or no exposure by the test route.
  • Alternatively, existing hazard information that is informative for the acute toxicity endpoint for the test chemical may be applied in lieu of additional in vivo testing of that chemical, a practice known as bridging.
Clarification of these approaches is important to ensure that regulatory authorities are provided with the appropriate data required for decision-making and that reduction of animal use for testing can be undertaken without compromising the integrity of the hazard information.

Guidance Document No. 237 is available on the OECD website.

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Aug 17, 2016 Webinar Series on Inhalation Toxicity Concludes September 8 -
Aug 17, 2016
Workshop Report on Carcinogenicity of Mixtures Now Available

An August 2015 workshop sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences evaluated the scientific support for the Low-Dose Mixture Hypothesis of Carcinogenesis and developed a research agenda. A report from this workshop is now available on the Environmental Health Perspectives website. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, Ph.D., was a breakout group moderator and co-authored the report.

The Low-Dose Mixture Hypothesis of Carcinogenesis suggests that ongoing low-dose exposures to mixtures of commonly encountered environmental chemicals can produce effects in concert that promote carcinogenesis. The workshop report describes the science that supports this novel theory, identifies knowledge gaps, recommends future methodologies, and explores preventative risk assessment and policy decision making that incorporates cancer biology, environmental health science, translational toxicology, and clinical epidemiology. The workshop participants concluded that the theoretical merits of the Low-Dose Carcinogenesis Hypothesis are well founded with clear biological relevance and the premise warrants further investigation.

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Aug 09, 2016
NC Newspaper Names NICEATM Director "Tar Heel of the Week"

In its Sunday, August 7, edition, The Raleigh News and Observer named NICEATM Director Warren Casey, Ph.D., as its "Tar Heel of the Week." The newspaper's weekly feature recognizes North Carolinians who have made important contributions to their areas of interest or expertise.

The article noted that Casey, recipient of this year's Society of Toxicology Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award, was among those leading the effort towards a coordinated U.S. strategy to replace animal use for regulatory testing, an effort that will require changing policy and practice across multiple agencies in the Federal government. "As much as agencies have tried to do things on their own, to really have an impact, we're going to have to have a national conversation on how to get away from animal testing," the article quoted Casey as saying.

The effort to develop a new national strategy for reducing our reliance on animal testing will be the subject of the upcoming meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) on September 27 at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park, NC. Materials for the SACATM meeting will be posted on the NTP website when they are available.

Read the online version of the News and Observer article

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Aug 09, 2016 Study Participants Wanted to Update NTP Level of Concern Categories Sep 07, 2016
Aug 09, 2016 Nominations for Lurie Prize Due September 14 Sep 14, 2016
Jul 18, 2016 NICEATM Requests Information on Acute Toxicity Testing Technologies Sep 01, 2016
Jul 18, 2016
OECD Releases New Version of QSAR Toolbox

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has just released Version 3.4 of the QSAR Toolbox. The new version contains many new features and functionality improvements, including:

  • New metadata fields associated with ECHA CHEM chemical ID such as number of compositions, additives, and impurities
  • Ability to locate the QSAR methods in the endpoint tree by clicking on the model
  • Three new databases (ChemIDPlus for acute oral toxicity, ZEBET database, and Keratinocyte gene expression LuSens)
  • A new profiler that identifies DNA alerts for chromosomal aberration and micronucleus tests
  • A new metabolic simulator for in vivo rat metabolism
QSAR Toolbox 3.4 also contains updates of ten databases, fourteen profilers, and five metabolic simulators, as well as bug fixes and many other usability improvements.

To find out more, visit the OECD website. For additional information please contact eeva.leinala@oecd.org or yuki.sakuratani@oecd.org.

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Jul 18, 2016
SOT Specialty Section Presents Webinars on In Vitro Testing

The Society of Toxicology (SOT) Food Safety Specialty Section is presenting two webinars on in vitro testing applications to food safety. Both webinars are free and open to the public.

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Jul 06, 2016 Webinar Series on Inhalation Toxicity Continues July 12 -
Jul 06, 2016
ASCCT Annual Meeting Draft Program Available; Abstracts Due July 22

The fifth annual meeting of the American Society of Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) will be September 29-30 at EPA in Research Triangle Park. Featured speakers and topics include Thomas Hartung on read-across and Mahendra Rao on pluripotent stem cells.

The meeting is open to ASCCT members and non-members; registration is required. A student mentoring session will be held during lunch on September 29. If you are interested in participating in this session as a mentor or mentee, please indicate your interest when you register.

A draft program for the meeting is available. Abstracts are being accepted for the poster session; a small number of submitted abstracts will be selected for oral presentations. The deadline for abstract submission is July 22.

Jul 22, 2016
Jul 06, 2016 Lush Prize Nominations Due July 24 Jul 24, 2016
Jul 06, 2016 Beagle Freedom Project Offers Grants for Alternatives Development Oct 01, 2016
Jun 24, 2016
TSCA Reform Bill Becomes Law, Will Promote Use of Alternatives

A bill signed into law June 22 by President Obama updates the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (H.R. 2576) provides the EPA with the authority and a consistent source of funding to evaluate chemicals on the basis of health risks. The new law also includes language that requires EPA to develop a plan to promote the use of alternative methods that reduce, refine, or replace vertebrate animal testing and include in that plan a list of acceptable alternative methods.

The highlights of the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act were outlined in a blog post by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. A news release from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine summarizes aspects of the bill relevant to alternative methods development.

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Jun 24, 2016
FDA Issues Final Guidance and Presents Webinar on Biological Evaluation of Medical Devices

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a final guidance document on the use of International Standard ISO 10993-1, "Biological Evaluation of Medical Devices – Part 1: Evaluation and Testing Within a Risk Management Process." FDA developed the guidance document to assist industry in preparing applications and notifications on medical devices so that the devices are appropriately evaluated for the potential for adverse reactions.

FDA will present a webinar on the new guidance on July 21 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The webinar is open to the public and there is no charge to view.

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Jun 24, 2016
EPA Releases Training Videos on Data Requirements for Antimicrobials

EPA is releasing five training videos providing guidance on EPA's 40 CFR Part 158W data requirements for antimicrobial pesticides. These training videos will help the public and the pesticide industry better understand the pesticide registration process and make the process more efficient and transparent. The videos include the 2013 amendments to the data requirements that were made to ensure pesticide risk management decisions are founded on the best available sound science.

Additional videos will be released in the future as they become available. The videos are available on the EPA website.

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Jun 16, 2016 Grants Offered to Support Preparation of Review Articles on Human Disease Areas Jul 31, 2016
Jun 13, 2016 HHS Small Business Funding Available Sep 06, 2016
Jun 13, 2016
Transform Tox Testing Challenge Workshop July 8

EPA is hosting a July 8 workshop on the Transform Tox Testing Challenge. The goal of the workshop is to bring together Stage 1 challenge winners and other experts to discuss the Tox21 and ToxCast programs, the Stage 1 proposals, and feasible expectations for the remainder of the challenge.

EPA, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and the National Toxicology Program launched the Transform Tox Testing Challenge in January 2016 to encourage development of high-throughput screening assays that incorporate metabolic competence in order to more accurately assess chemical effects and better protect human health. Ten winners of Stage 1 of the challenge, announced in May, will each receive a $10,000 cash prize and will be eligible to compete in Stage 2 of the challenge.

The July 8 workshop will be held at EPA in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and will also be webcast via Adobe Connect. The public session (8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) is open to the public free of charge. For more information about the challenge and to register for the workshop, visit the Transform Tox Testing Challenge website.

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Jun 13, 2016
Impact of Cancer Studies Noted in Oncology Newsletter

A recent article in the ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology) Post, a newsletter reporting on oncology research, discussed the potentially significant contribution of environmental chemicals to cancer. The article, "Low-Dose Chemical Exposure and Cancer," summarized the work of the Halifax Project, whose studies of the effects of exposure to mixtures of environmental chemicals were published last year in a special issue of the journal Carcinogenesis. The ASCO Post article includes a summary of a study conducted by NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, Ph.D., which examined the ability of high throughput screening data to identify potential carcinogens.

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Jun 02, 2016 Webinar Series on Inhalation Toxicity Continues June 28 -
Jun 02, 2016 ICCVAM Public Forum Slides and Webcast Recording Available -
Jun 02, 2016
NIH to Hold Bioinformatics Symposium in June

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Library Bioinformatics Symposium will be held Monday, June 20, at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Attendees will learn how scientists are using software licensed by the NIH Library Bioinformatics Support Program to analyze, integrate, and annotate data from multiple genomics technologies, including next-generation sequencing. Presenters will also discuss the applications of these data analysis tools to problems in molecular biology, and how state-of-the-art knowledge bases and pathway analysis applications are transforming downstream functional analysis of data from high-throughput experiments.

The symposium is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. An agenda, presentation abstracts, and a link to registration is available on the NIH website.

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Jun 02, 2016 Deadline Extended for AOP Awards Oct 03, 2016
May 20, 2016 ICCVAM Public Forum Next Wednesday -
May 20, 2016 Applications Due June 3 for Small Business Funding Competition Jun 03, 2016
May 10, 2016 Register by Friday to Attend ICCVAM Public Forum May 13, 2016
May 10, 2016
ICCVAM Advisory Committee to Discuss Developing a U.S. National 3Rs Strategy

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) will meet Sept. 27-28, 2016, at NIEHS in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. SACATM advises ICCVAM, NICEATM, and the NIEHS director on activities relevant to the ICCVAM mission. The focus of this year's SACATM meeting will be to discuss and develop recommendations for implementing a national strategy for replacing, reducing, and refining animal use (3Rs) for regulatory testing.

The SACATM meeting is free and open to the public, and can be attended in person or viewed via webcast. An agenda, other materials, and links to registration for the upcoming meeting will be posted on the SACATM Upcoming Meetings page as they are available.

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May 10, 2016
Registration and Abstract Submission Open for ASCCT Annual Meeting

The fifth annual meeting of the American Society of Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) will be Sept. 29-30 at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park. Featured speakers and topics include Thomas Hartung on read-across and Mahendra Rao on pluripotent stem cells.

Abstracts are being accepted for the poster session; a small number of submitted abstracts will be selected for oral presentations. The deadline for abstract submission is July 22.

The meeting is open to ASCCT members and non-members. Links to the registration and abstract submission pages, as well as a draft agenda and other information, are available on the Annual Meeting webpage.

Jul 22, 2016
May 10, 2016
Input Requested in Advance of Adverse Outcome Pathway Workshop

The Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) is initiating a horizon scanning effort to advance the science and application of the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) framework. This effort will allow SETAC to identify and begin to address issues relevant to the application of the AOP framework to chemical risk assessment in the context of both human and ecological health.

SETAC invites members of the scientific community to submit questions that consider key outstanding challenges or limitations that must be addressed in order to realize the full potential of the AOP framework in research and regulatory decision-making. Submitted questions will guide the development of themes to be addresses during an upcoming, expert-led, 2017 Pellston Workshop®.

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May 02, 2016 Agenda Available for ICCVAM Public Forum -
Apr 22, 2016 Webinar Series on Inhalation Toxicity Continues April 26 -
Apr 22, 2016
FDA Requests Public Input Prior to International Meeting

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a meeting on May 6 to receive public input and gather information in advance of the International Council for Harmonisation's June meeting. The May 6 meeting will be held at FDA's White Oak campus and will be webcast. Details are in an April 18 Federal Register notice.

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Apr 22, 2016
Save the Date for 3Rs Sharing Conference

The North Carolina Association for Biomedical Research and the New Jersey Association for Biomedical Research will convene "3Rs Sharing Conference V" on November 18 at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. This conference will focus on the potential of new technologies and reduction and refinement approaches to improve biomedical research. More information is available on the conference website.

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Apr 04, 2016 ICCVAM to Hold Public Forum May 25 May 13, 2016
Mar 24, 2016
NCATS and FDA Hold Workshop on Assay Development for High Throughput Screening

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a workshop on April 5-6, 2016, at the Harvey W. Wiley Federal Building in College Park, Maryland, for scientists involved in assay development for high throughput screening and lead optimization. The goal of the workshop is to share best practices and provide advice for robust assay design and development. During the two-day workshop, drug discovery experts will cover a broad range of critical concepts underlying assay development and lead discovery strategies. The workshop is designed to disseminate critical information about the implementation of robust assay methods that can benefit the entire drug discovery community.

Registration for the workshop is now open. More information about the workshop, a link to registration, and an agenda are available on the NCATS website.

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Mar 21, 2016
Pan-American Conference for Alternative Methods to Convene in April

The first Pan-American Conference for Alternative Methods will be held in Baltimore on April 12-14. This conference will bring together experts and stakeholders from across the Americas, with a focus on the Six Rs: Replacement, Reduction, Refinement, Read-across, Relevance, and Roadmaps. There is no charge to attend the conference, but attendance will be limited to 300 participants on a first-come, first-served basis.

View links to registration and other information about the conference

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Mar 21, 2016
IIVS Workshop on In Vitro Exposure Assessment Tools for Inhaled Tobacco Products

The Institute for In Vitro Sciences is holding a workshop on In Vitro Exposure Systems and Dosimetry Assessment Tools for Inhaled Tobacco Products on April 4-6 at the Bethesda Marriott in Bethesda, Maryland. Speakers from industry, government, academia, and nonprofit organizations will discuss the current status of in vitro to in vivo correlations, whole tobacco smoke and e-cigarette aerosol/vapor constituents, in vitro exposure systems, dosimetry approaches, and the exposure microenvironment, as well as promising technologies that may advance science in these areas. Moderated breakout sessions and a poster session will provide opportunities to explore topics in greater detail. For more information and to register, visit the workshop website.

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Mar 18, 2016
New EPA Guidance for Testing Pesticides Will Reduce Animal Testing

In a March 17 press release, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the publication of two guidance documents and initiation of a pilot program, all of which will support its goal to significantly reduce animal use for acute effects testing.

"Process for Establishing & Implementing Alternative Approaches to Traditional In Vivo Acute Toxicity Studies for FIFRA Regulatory Use" describes a transparent, stepwise process for evaluating and implementing alternative methods for the "six-pack studies," which test for acute oral, dermal, and inhalation toxicity; skin and eye irritation; and skin sensitization. The document includes discussion of three major phases of the evaluation and implementation process, as well as the implications for reporting information required by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Establishment of this process and the clear articulation of the related reporting requirements address challenges associated with adopting alternative methods.

EPA is also requesting comment on draft guidance titled "Retrospective Analysis & Guidance for Waiving Acute Dermal Toxicity Tests for Pesticide Formulations." This guidance document provides a rationale for waiving all acute dermal toxicity studies for pesticide formulations, and includes a data analysis conducted by the EPA Office of Pesticide Products (OPP) and NICEATM in support of this rationale. EPA is accepting comments on the guidance document until May 16.

Availability of the two documents was announced in an open letter to stakeholders from OPP Director Jack Housenger, who also announced a pilot program to evaluate alternative approaches to classify the toxicity of mixtures. Under the GHS Mixtures Equation Pilot, OPP will accept submission of oral and inhalation toxicity data paired with calculations done in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) to support the evaluation of pesticide product formulations.

Links to the two documents and Housenger's letter to stakeholders, as well as instructions on how to submit comments on the draft guidance, are available on the EPA website.

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Mar 11, 2016 Webinar Series on Inhalation Toxicity Begins March 29 -
Mar 02, 2016 NICEATM and ICCVAM Activities at SOT -
Mar 02, 2016 Proposals Being Accepted for ARDF Grants May 02, 2016
Feb 16, 2016
NICEATM Deputy Director to Receive Teratology Society Award

NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, Ph.D., has been named to receive the 2016 F. Clarke Fraser New Investigator Award from the Teratology Society. This award recognizes an active Teratology Society member that has, within 10 years of completion of training, established a successful independent research career in a field relevant to developmental biology. Kleinstreuer will be presented with her award during the Society's Annual Meeting in June, at which she will give a plenary presentation about her research.

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Feb 16, 2016
NICEATM Director Elected to Lead SOT IVAM Specialty Section

NICEATM Director Warren Casey, Ph.D., has been elected Vice President-Elect of the In Vitro and Alternative Methods (IVAM) Specialty Section of the Society of Toxicology (SOT). Casey will serve as Vice President-Elect for 2016-2017 and will then serve subsequent one-year terms as Vice President, President, and Past President of the specialty section.

The SOT IVAM Specialty Section members have expertise or special interest in the application of in vitro techniques to address problems of cellular toxicity, with a special emphasis on product safety evaluation. IVAM interests include the study of cellular processes involved in adverse outcomes of specific organs as well as whole animals, and the development of systems to predict in vivo toxicity for risk assessment purposes. Other topics of interest include in vitro test validation and all aspects of test development and acceptance for individual or regulatory purposes.

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Feb 16, 2016 Next SBIR/STTR deadline April 5 Apr 05, 2016
Feb 16, 2016 Graduate Fellowships in Alternatives Research Apr 29, 2016
Feb 02, 2016
EURL ECVAM Survey on Knowledge Sharing for 3Rs Advancement

The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) is conducting a survey to (1) identify all types of knowledge sources that might be relevant to Replace, Reduce or Refine (the "3Rs") the use of animals for scientific purposes, (2) understand how such knowledge is currently disseminated and (3) highlight what could be done to fill knowledge gaps and enhance knowledge sharing. Information collected through the survey will be considered with other relevant information at a conference on advancing towards the goal of phasing out animal testing to be organized in 2016 by the European Commission. More information and a link to the survey are available on the EURL ECVAM website. Please respond to the survey by March 11.

Mar 11, 2016
Jan 22, 2016
Kleinstreuer Appointed NICEATM Deputy Director

Nicole Kleinstreuer, Ph.D., has been named deputy director of NICEATM. Kleinstreuer most recently worked for ILS, the NICEATM support contractor, where she led the NICEATM computational toxicology group. In her new role as NICEATM deputy director she will continue to lead NICEATM computational toxicology projects, as well as interacting with NICEATM's U.S. and international partners and stakeholders.

Kleinstreuer's research focuses on mathematical and computational modeling of biological systems and those systems' susceptibility to perturbations that result in adverse health outcomes. She was a key contributor to a strategy that combines in vitro high throughput assays and computational models for measuring estrogen receptor bioactivity (described in Browne et al., 2015), which has been accepted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as an alternative to three existing Tier 1 tests in the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. She was also lead author on the 2014 Nature Biotechnology paper, "Phenotypic screening of the ToxCast chemical library to classify toxic and therapeutic mechanisms," recognized as the best paper of 2014 by the Society of Toxicology's Biotechnology Specialty Section.

A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, Kleinstreuer received her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, and B.S. degrees in mathematics and biomedical engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). Prior to joining ILS, she completed postdoctoral training at the EPA's National Center for Computational Toxicology. Kleinstreuer also maintains an adjunct faculty appointment at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at UNC-CH.

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Jan 22, 2016
NICEATM Scientists Receive NIEHS Merit Award

NICEATM Director Warren Casey, Ph.D., and nine current or former members of the ILS NICEATM contract support team have been named to receive an NIEHS Merit Award. The Merit Award is the highest level honor award given by the NIEHS director and recognizes achievements that support and advance the NIEHS mission. The NICEATM awardees are being recognized for validating the use of computational tools to replace a regulatory requirement for animal-based testing, thereby demonstrating the utility of Tox21 efforts.

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Jan 22, 2016 PISC Offers Awards for AOP Development Mar 31, 2016
Jan 22, 2016
Paper Describing In Vitro Test for Medical Devices Wins Award

The Society of Toxicology (SOT) Medical Device and Combination Products Specialty Section has recognized "Evaluation of an in vitro human dermal sensitization test for use with medical device extracts" (Coleman et al., 2015) as Best Published Paper of 2015. The paper describes a proof-of-concept study evaluating use of the SenCeeTox assay to test medical device extracts for skin sensitization potential. A 21-laboratory international validation study of the SenCeeTox assay will be conducted this year, with publication of results envisioned in fall 2016.

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Jan 13, 2016
NICEATM Director Wins SOT Award

NICEATM Director Warren Casey has won the Society of Toxicology (SOT) 2016 Enhancement of Animal Welfare Award. In announcing the award, SOT specifically noted Casey's efforts to improve the quality of data from traditional animal studies that are used to evaluate new approaches, and his leadership on projects supporting replacement of animal tests with high throughput screening approaches and computational models.

Read article about Casey's award in the January 2016 issue of the NIEHS "Environmental Factor" newsletter

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Jan 13, 2016
EPA and NIH Centers Launch Transform Tox Testing Challenge

U.S. government agencies are offering awards totaling $1 million to improve the relevance and predictivity of data generated from automated technology used for toxicity testing.

In a Jan. 8 press release, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is partnering with the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the National Toxicology Program to sponsor the Transform Tox Testing Challenge: Innovating for Metabolism. The challenge calls on innovative thinkers to find new ways to incorporate physiological levels of chemical metabolism into high throughput screening assays. This will help researchers more accurately assess effects of chemicals and better protect human health.

Participating teams will compete in three stages for a total award of $1 million. The first stage, which closes April 8, seeks practical designs that may be fully implemented. Up to ten entries may receive a prize of $10,000 each and an invitation to continue to the second stage, prototype development. The final stage will involve testing by the sponsoring agencies of commercially viable methods or technologies.

The challenge is closed to federal employees acting within the scope of their employment but is open to all other segments of government, industry, academia, or non-governmental organizations.

More details about the challenge and entry form

Apr 08, 2016
Dec 18, 2015 ICCVAM Communities of Practice Webinar on Fundamentals of QSAR and Read-across Jan 26, 2016
Dec 15, 2015
NICEATM and ICCVAM to Hold Forum at SOT

NICEATM Director Dr. Warren Casey and ICCVAM Co-chair Dr. Anna Lowit (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) will lead a discussion forum on NICEATM and ICCVAM activities during next March's Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology. The meeting is intended to be an open discussion of the challenges and opportunities to replace current regulatory requirements using animals. Participants are encouraged to bring forward for discussion specific examples of challenges to the implementation of alternatives within their organizations. The forum will be held Monday, March 14, 2016, from 5:00-6:00 p.m. in the Belle Chasse room of the Hilton New Orleans Riverside in New Orleans.

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Dec 15, 2015 Deadline January 5 for Small Business Funding Opportunities Jan 05, 2016
Dec 15, 2015
IIVS Workshop on In Vitro Exposure Assessment Tools for Inhaled Tobacco Products

The Institute for In Vitro Sciences is holding a workshop on In Vitro Exposure Systems and Dosimetry Assessment Tools for Inhaled Tobacco Products on April 4-6, 2016, in Bethesda, Maryland. Speakers from industry, government, academia, and nonprofits will discuss the current status of in vitro to in vivo correlations, whole tobacco smoke and e-cigarette aerosol/vapor constituents, in vitro exposure systems, dosimetry approaches, and the exposure microenvironment, as well as promising technologies that may advance science in these areas. Moderated breakout sessions and a poster session will provide opportunities to explore topics in greater detail; deadline for poster abstract submission is January 31. Early bird registration deadline is February 15; for more information and to register, visit the workshop website.

Jan 31, 2016
Dec 15, 2015
Registration Open for Pan-American Conference on Alternative Methods

The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health will host the Pan-American Conference for Alternative Methods in Baltimore on April 12-14, 2016. This conference will bring together experts and stakeholders from across the Americas, with a focus on the Six Rs: Replacement, Reduction, Refinement, Read-across, Relevance, and Roadmaps. Although the agenda is still under development, those interested in attending are encouraged to register early, as attendance will be limited to 300 participants on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be no registration fee charged for attendance.

Abstracts are being accepted for oral and poster presentations; deadline is January 15, 2016. Your abstract should be emailed to jderita1@jhu.edu as a Microsoft Word document. Abstracts must include abstract title, complete author list indicating presenter and including contact information, and authors' affiliations. Abstracts may include figures and references. Submitter should indicate whether the abstract is to be considered for an oral presentation.

For more information and to register, email Jamie DeRita at jderita1@jhu.edu.

Jan 31, 2016
Dec 15, 2015
Lush Prize Winners Announced

The Lush cosmetics company awards cash prizes every year to recognize key contributors towards replacing animal use for testing. This year's awards, announced last month, included £250,000 to be shared among the Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) Programme of the Organisation for Economic Co operation and Development and four individual researchers for their contributions to advancing AOPs. A number of other prizes were awarded to researchers in recognition of their work to better understand toxicity mechanisms or develop novel testing systems. The complete list of prize winners is available on the Lush Prize website.

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Dec 01, 2015
UK Roadmap for Advancing Non-animal Technologies Published

The National Centre for the 3Rs (NC3Rs) along with five partner organizations have developed "A Non-animal Technologies Roadmap for the U.K." The document was developed to guide the efforts of those working to advance development of non-animal technologies in drug discovery, safety, and toxicology in the U.K. Recommendations in the document include fostering cross-sector collaborations, widening engagement to include those in a broader range of disciplines, engaging regulators in development and use of non-animal technologies, and establishing a strategic advisory board for these efforts. A link to the document is available on the NC3Rs website.

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Nov 12, 2015
ECHA Requests Alternatives Information in Testing Proposals

In a November 2 press release, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced that it has started requesting alternatives information from registrants who submit new testing proposals for vertebrate animal tests. This action responds to a proposal from the European Ombudsman addressing complaints that ECHA was not fulfilling its obligations to ensure the avoidance of unnecessary animal testing. In addition to requesting information about consideration of alternatives, ECHA will provide registrants with all the information at its disposal which could allow them to avoid animal testing.

ECHA is the European agency charged with administering the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation, which requires chemical manufacturers to assess and manage the risks posed by chemicals and provide appropriate safety information for their users. Information received from registrants on consideration of alternative tests will be published together with the testing proposals on ECHA's testing proposals consultation web page. ECHA will report in March 2016 on additional steps taken in response to the Ombudsman's proposal.

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Nov 02, 2015 Webinar on IVIVE Wednesday November 4 -
Nov 02, 2015
Report on 2014 UK Animal Use Available

The 2014 edition of the "Annual Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals" was released October 22 by the UK Home Office. This report satisfies a requirement in the U.K. Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 "to collect and publish statistical information on the use of protected animals in regulated procedures during the previous calendar year and to lay that information before Parliament." "Protected animals" are defined as any living vertebrate other than man and cephalopod species. Therefore, this report represents a comprehensive snapshot of animal use for experimental, educational, or other scientific purposes.

Download the report
Read a plain-language summary of the report on the Understanding Animal Research website
Read expert comments on the Science Media Centre website

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Nov 02, 2015
Summit on Animals, Public Health, and Ethics December 9-10

The Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Bloomberg School of Public Health's Group on the Integration of the Relationship between Animals, Public Health and Ethics is holding a Summit on Animals, Public Health and Ethics on Dec. 9-10 to kick off a collaboration to explore the intersection of animal, human, and environmental health. Topics to be discussed include animal models of human disease, food animals and public health, zoonotic diseases and public health, and ethics of the human use of animals. The Summit will be held in Feinstone Hall at JHU in Baltimore, and there is no charge to attend.

Registration and more information

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Oct 19, 2015 Presentations from Acute Toxicity Workshop Now Available -
Oct 19, 2015
USDA Issues Guidance for Reducing Animal Use for Vaccine Testing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB) recently issued CVB Notice 15-13, Option to Remove Back-titration Hamsters from In Vivo Potency Tests for Leptospira Serogroups Canicola and Icterohaemorrhagiae. The notice describes an exemption from the titration requirement in vaccination-challenge potency assays for Leptospira Serogroups Canicola and Icterohaemorrhagiae. Removal of the back-titration hamsters could reduce animal use by 50% for potency testing on these two fractions. The policy is effective Oct. 8. CVB Notice 15-13 is available on the USDA website.

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Oct 19, 2015
EURL ECVAM Issues Status Report on Alternative Methods Activities

The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) has published a comprehensive report on recent activities related to human and ecological health, the development and validation of alternative methods, information dissemination, and regulatory implementation. The report includes summaries of EURL ECVAM's activities in the Adverse Outcome Pathway Programme of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, status updates on all of the methods recently submitted for review, databases of test methods and validation reference chemicals, and collaborations with other organizations. The report is available on EURL ECVAM's website.

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Oct 19, 2015
National Academy of Sciences to Examine Low-dose Toxicity

A new committee of the National Academy of Sciences will examine whether the current toxicity testing practices of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) adequately consider adverse human health effects of low doses of endocrine-active chemicals. Committee activities will include convening a scientific workshop to support systematic reviews of human and animal toxicology data for chemicals that affect the estrogen or androgen system. The committee will also consider how to use adverse outcome pathway (AOP) or other mechanistic data, including high-throughput data and pharmacokinetic information, to elucidate under what circumstances human and animal data may be concordant or discordant.

The committee held its first meeting Oct. 13; the next meeting will be on Nov. 17–18 in Washington, D.C. Information on the committee, including links to information about upcoming meetings and a list of committee members, is available on the National Academies website.

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Oct 02, 2015 Database of Rodent Uterotrophic Bioactivity Now Available -
Oct 02, 2015 Registration Open for Webinars and Workshops on IVIVE -
Oct 02, 2015 PISC Offers Awards for AOP Development Mar 15, 2016
Oct 02, 2015 NIH Funding Resources: November 4 Webinar Introduces New Resource for Small Business Applicants -
Oct 02, 2015 Version 2 of S1500+ Human Gene Set Now Available -
Oct 02, 2015
Workshop on In Vitro Tools for Assessment of Tobacco Products

The Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS) will present a workshop on In Vitro Exposure Systems and Dosimetry Assessment Tools for Inhaled Tobacco Products on April 4-6, 2016, in Bethesda, Maryland. Speakers from industry, government, and academia will present on topics including tobacco smoke and e-cigarette aerosols, in vitro exposure systems that incorporate an air–liquid interface, and dosimetry approaches for particles and vapors. Registration and poster abstract submission will open December 1; refer to the IIVS website for updates.

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Sep 16, 2015
Winners of In Vitro Inhalation Test Award Announced

The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. (PISC) recently announced the winners of a $200,000 award for the design of an in vitro test to predict the development of lung fibrosis in humans following exposure to nanomaterials, such as multi-walled carbon nanotubes. Investigators at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) and Heriot-Watt University (United Kingdom) will jointly develop the test method. PISC will also support MatTek Corporation's development of a 3-D reconstructed primary human lung tissue model to be used in the method.

The three laboratories were chosen based on their qualifications to meet the study design recommendations, which were developed at an expert working group meeting co-organized by PISC and NICEATM. The February 2015 meeting was attended by international experts from government, industry, academia, and nonprofit organizations and was held at EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C. The long-term goal is to develop additional in vitro assays and computer models that can be used in combination to predict the inhalation toxicity of nanomaterials. Visit the PISC website for more information about the February 2015 expert working group meeting.

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Sep 16, 2015
Updated 3Rs Websites Available

The 3Rs-Centre Utrecht Life Sciences has updated two websites that support reduction of laboratory animal use and refining animal experiments. Both websites can help researchers with the alternatives literature searches required when planning experiments.

  • The Interspecies Database enables comparisons of physiological, anatomical and biochemical parameters of different animal species and humans. By using the database, researchers can choose the animal model for their experiments that best approximates the human situation. This saves time, money, and laboratory animals, and improves scientific research quality. Users of the database have reported an average annual 20% reduction in animal use, with some users reporting a 40% reduction in animal use.
  • The Humane Endpoints website provides insights into the recognition and application of humane endpoints in rodents and supports efforts to prevent unnecessary suffering in laboratory animals. The website offers information, videos, and photographs of rodent species; users who complete free registration can also access training modules. These resources have been used in laboratory animal sciences courses worldwide.
Both website updates are projects of the newly established 3Rs-Database program of the 3Rs-Centre Utrecht Life Sciences (ULS). The 3Rs-Centre ULS is part of the department of Animals in Science and Society, faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University. Its mission is to stimulate the development, acceptance, and implementation of 3Rs methods within academia, government, and industry in The Netherlands. Read the press release announcing the launch of the updated databases
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Sep 16, 2015 NIH Invites Pre-Applications for Translational Science Awards -
Aug 25, 2015
NIH Presents Conference for Small Business Grant Applicants

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Conference will be held in Seattle, Washington, on October 27–29. This event is the largest annual conference for SBIR/STTR applicants. Presentations will provide overviews of Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) SBIR/STTR programs, funding opportunities, and the application review process. The agenda is organized into tracks so that attendees with a range of experience levels and business objectives can all benefit from attending the conference. Attendees will also have an opportunity to network with and get advice from SBIR/STTR staff of several HHS agencies.
View information about the conference

NIH is also presenting a Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration on October 14–16 in San Diego, California.

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Aug 25, 2015
New OECD Test Guidelines Available

In July, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) adopted four new test guidelines:

  • Test No. 490: In Vitro Mammalian Cell Gene Mutation Tests Using the Thymidine Kinase Gene
  • Test No. 491: Short Time Exposure In Vitro Test Method for Identifying i) Chemicals Inducing Serious Eye Damage and ii) Chemicals Not Requiring Classification for Eye Irritation or Serious Eye Damage
  • Test No. 492: Reconstructed Human Cornea-like Epithelium (RhCE) Test Method for Identifying Chemicals Not Requiring Classification and Labelling for Eye Irritation or Serious Eye Damage
  • Test No. 493: Performance-Based Test Guideline for Human Recombinant Estrogen Receptor (hrER) In Vitro Assays to Detect Chemicals with ER Binding Affinity
OECD also published updates of 11 previously adopted test guidelines for assessing a wide range of chemical hazards. Most of the new or updated test guidelines describe methods with the potential to reduce or replace animal use for chemical testing.

OECD test guidelines represent internationally agreed-upon testing methods used by government, industry, and independent laboratories to characterize potential chemical hazards. The new and updated test guidelines are available on the OECD iLibrary website.

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Aug 19, 2015 NIEHS Funding Opportunities and Resources for Applicants -
Aug 19, 2015
Nature Biotechnology Paper Reports Results of Crowdsourcing Challenge

An international study published in Nature Biotechnology presents the combined results of a crowdsourcing initiative to test how well the effects of a toxic compound can be predicted in different people. The study shows that computational methods can be used to predict some toxic effects on populations, although they are not yet sensitive enough to predict such effects in individuals. It also presents algorithms useful for environmental risk assessment.

The community-based challenge, known as the DREAM Toxicogenetics Collaboration, was led and organized by scientists from NIEHS, EMBL-EBI, Sage Bionetworks, IBM, the University of North Carolina, and the NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences. Hundreds of computational biologists from all over the world tried their hand at predicting the toxicities of environmental compounds that had potential adverse health effects. One key benefit of the study is that it offers new methodologies for improvements in some areas of hazard evaluation and assessment.

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Aug 07, 2015
Report Outlines Predictive Toxicology Approach for Defense Applications

The National Academies Press has issued a report on "Application of Modern Toxicology Approaches for Predicting Acute Toxicity for Chemical Defense." Prepared in response to a request by the U.S. Department of Defense, the report provides a conceptual approach that could be used to evaluate chemicals that could pose threats to deployed personnel. In addition to providing an overview of current computational and high-throughput testing approaches and methods for integrating data and predictions, the report summarizes lessons learned from current high-throughput screening programs and suggests initial steps for investment. The report can be read online or downloaded as a PDF for free.

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Aug 07, 2015
Call for Proposals for New Users or New Applications of In Vitro Tissue Models

The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. (PISC) and MatTek Corporation are offering 3-D reconstructed human tissue models – for free! PISC is offering three awards of $5000 each to proposals of sound scientific merit that show potential to reduce or replace animal testing. Awards will be redeemable for human cell-based tissue models from MatTek Corporation. Proposals can address one of two options:

  • Option 1: New experimental applications: Open to any researcher or company in North America and Europe, these proposals will describe applications for MatTek's dermal, ocular, respiratory, intestinal, oral, or vaginal tissue models in new in vitro regulatory test methods or research areas that have historically used animals.
  • Option 2: New users: Open only to researchers and companies in North America and Europe that have not previously used MatTek tissues, these proposals will allow grantees to become proficient in the use of the EpiDerm and EpiOcular models for regulatory testing.
More information on the awards is available on the PISC website. Proposals are due by October 5; winners will be announced by November 2.
Oct 05, 2015
Jul 28, 2015
NIH Invites Comments and Suggestions on a Framework for the NIH-wide Strategic Plan

In order to advance its mission, NIH is developing an NIH-wide Strategic Plan. The goal of this 5-year plan is to outline a vision for biomedical research that ultimately extends healthy life and reduces illness and disability. NIH senior leadership and staff have developed a proposed framework for the Strategic Plan that identifies areas of opportunity across all biomedicine and unifying principles to guide NIH's support of the biomedical research enterprise. The aim is to pursue crosscutting areas of research that span NIH's 27 Institutes, Centers, and Offices. The Strategic Plan is due to the Congress in late December 2015.

NIH published a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input from stakeholders throughout the extramural community and the general public regarding the Framework for the 5-year NIHS-wide Strategic Plan on July 22, 2015. Feedback to the RFI may be submitted through the NIH Grants website. Comments are due by August 16.

Aug 16, 2015
Jul 13, 2015 NIEHS Offers Financial Support for Test Method Development Nov 17, 2015
Jul 13, 2015 Abstract Submission Open for Future Tox III Conference Aug 15, 2015
Jun 29, 2015
EPA Requests Comments on Use of High-Throughput Assays for EDSP

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requests comments on a plan to incorporate validated ToxCast/Tox21 high-throughput assays and an associated computational model as an alternative to three Tier 1 tests used in its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) to assess estrogenic activity. Described as "groundbreaking" in an EPA press release (available at http://go.usa.gov/3vPsz), the use of high-throughput assays and computational methods will accelerate the pace of screening, decrease costs, and reduce animal testing. The EPA plan was developed and validated by EPA and NICEATM scientists and is described in detail in a paper by Browne et al. in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. Comments on the plan are requested by August 18.

View June 19 Federal Register notice requesting comments on the plan

Aug 18, 2015
Jun 29, 2015 NIH Updates Solicitation for SBIR/STTR Grant Applications Sep 05, 2015
Jun 29, 2015
USDA Requests Comments on Petition to Revise Animal Use Reporting Requirements

The Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) has received a petition from the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) to increase the level of detail in information collected from research facilities in their reports on animal use. NAVS is asking that the annual report required under the Animal Welfare Act include more information on how animals are being used for research and experimentation.

APHIS is soliciting comments to help determine what action, if any, to take in response to this request. In particular, APHIS invites responses to the following questions. Comments are requested by August 24.

  1. Should APHIS amend the regulations to require research facilities that use animals for teaching, testing, and experimentation to provide specific information about how regulated animals are used (for example, for safety testing, teaching purposes, or disease research)? Would reporting this information improve animal welfare? If so, how?
  2. If research facilities were required to report the purposes of their animal research activities, what types of information should be provided, and why?
  3. What might be the effects, if any, on research facilities if they are required to collect and report this additional information?
  4. Does the annual reporting form currently required to be used by research facilities capture sufficient information? If not, what information is missing?

View June 24 Federal Register notice requesting comments relevant to the petition

View petition and comments received

Aug 24, 2015
Jun 29, 2015 ICCVAM Advisory Committee to Meet September 2 -
Jun 11, 2015
EPA Updates Guidance on Non-Animal Eye Irritation Tests

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has updated its guidance document describing a non-animal testing scheme for assessing eye irritation potential of EPA-registered antimicrobial cleaning products. The testing scheme uses the bovine corneal opacity and permeability, EpiOcular, and cytosensor microphysiometer assays to identify antimicrobial cleaning product Toxicity Category I, II, and III eye irritants.

Download guidance from the EPA website

View general information about pesticide registration

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Jun 11, 2015
Partners Sought for Development of Botulinum Neurotoxin Test

Researchers from the University of Freiburg, Germany, have developed a novel automated bioluminescence assay (BLB-Test) for detecting botulinum neurotoxin. The BLB-Test has the potential to replace the standard mouse lethality bioassay currently used for detection of botulinum neurotoxin in animal, food, and environmental samples. The developers are seeking partners to validate and commercialize the assay, and the National Centre for the Replacement Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) has issued a "CRACK IT" challenge to identify potential partners. Funding is available until October 27.

More information about the challenge

Oct 27, 2015
Jun 11, 2015
June 17 Webinar Provides Introduction to QSAR Toolbox

QSAR Toolbox is a software application developed by the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development to make quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) tools more readily available, usable, and transparent. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) will present an "Introduction to OECD QSAR Toolbox Webinar" on June 17. The webinar will review the QSAR Toolbox workflow and present examples that use the QSAR Toolbox to assess skin sensitization and short-term fish toxicity hazards. The webinar will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Helsinki time (please note that this is 4:00 to 7:00 a.m. EDT). Information and a link to registration are available on the ECHA website; webinar presentations will also be posted on this page after the webinar.

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Jun 11, 2015
NASA Requests Information for Tissue Engineering Challenge

The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is seeking input on a Tissue Engineering Challenge being considered for 2015. Competitors in the challenge would create thick tissue constructs with cells performing functions of one of the four major solid organs (heart, lung, liver, kidney) and remaining alive long enough to advance scientific research capabilities. The purposes of the current Request for Information are (1) to gather feedback on the challenge being considered, (2) to determine the potential level of interest in this challenge, and (3) to understand how technology emerging from the challenge could be used in non-government applications. NASA welcomes responses to this request from all segments of industry, academia, and government. Responses to this request are due July 11.

Jun 11, 2015
May 29, 2015 ICCVAM Public Forum: Presentations and Webcast Recording Available -
May 29, 2015 Lush Science Prize Jul 24, 2015
May 29, 2015
ASCCT Annual Meeting to be Held October 1-2 in RTP

The 4th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology will be held October 1–2 at the Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The theme of the meeting is "Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment: Promises and Challenges of a More Flexible Approach to Toxicity Testing," and the program will include presentations of case studies that apply integrated approaches to testing and assessment. Plenary speakers will include NICEATM Director Warren Casey speaking on "Moving Beyond One Test: Leveraging the Whole Toolbox for Integrated Decision Strategies," and Craig Rowlands of The Dow Chemical Company speaking on "Chemicals and Risk: New Approaches to Current Practices." There will also be a poster session and oral presentations selected from submitted abstracts; abstract submission deadline is July 15.

May 22, 2015
May 29, 2015
Training Materials Available for QSAR Toolbox

QSAR Toolbox is a software application developed by the Organisation for Economic Co operation and Development to make quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) tools more readily available, usable, and transparent. Training materials for QSAR Toolbox are now available. These include tutorial slide sets with step-by-step instructions describing how to use QSAR toolbox for a number of applications, including predicting skin sensitization potential, aquatic toxicity, and Ames mutagenicity. There are also video tutorials available for some applications.

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May 29, 2015
June 10 Webinar to Address Regulatory Acceptance of Non-Animal Tests

The PETA International Science Consortium (PISC) and Chemical Watch newsletter have teamed up to present a series of webinars on modern testing strategies for REACH. The last of these webinars, "Regulatory Processes Involved in Acceptance of Non-Animal Tests" will be presented on June 10 at 10 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time. Speakers will include Derek Knight, senior scientific advisor to the European Chemicals Agency, and Karin Kilian, policy officer for the environment directorate of the European Commission. A link to register for the upcoming webinar and links to recordings and slides of past webinars in the series are available on the PISC website.

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May 21, 2015 ICCVAM Public Forum: Agenda Available and Registration Reminder May 22, 2015
May 21, 2015
USDA Updates Guidelines for Validation of In Vitro Potency Assays

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Center for Veterinary Biologics (USDA CVB) recently updated Veterinary Services Memorandum No. 800.112, "Guidelines for Validation of In Vitro Potency Assays." This memorandum provides guidance concerning the information a manufacturer of veterinary vaccines and other biological products should provide when submitting a new potency assay for consideration by the CVB. These guidelines apply to in vitro assays used to determine the potency of such products, and provide a framework for designing in vitro potency assays and the studies needed to validate those assays. Use of in vitro assays may replace, reduce, or refine animal use for this purpose.

Veterinary Services Memorandum No. 800.112 and other recently published CVB documents are available on the USDA website.

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May 05, 2015
May 14 Webinar on Regulatory Acceptance of Alternative Methods

The Mid-Atlantic Society of Toxicology will present a webinar on "Regulatory Acceptance of Alternative Methods: Current Status and Future Directions." NICEATM Director Warren Casey will speak on "Predicting in vivo effects using in vitro data: the future of alternatives." Other speakers include George DeGeorge of MB Research Labs, Rodger Curren of the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, and Thomas Hartung of the Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing.

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May 05, 2015
FDA to Discuss Topics in Advance of International Meeting

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is holding a regional public meeting on May 15, 2015, to provide information and receive comments in advance of the steering committee and working group meetings of the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) to be held in June in Fukuoka, Japan.

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May 05, 2015
ECHA Issues Advice on Skin Sensitization Tests

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has published advice on the use of non-animal skin sensitization tests to fulfill European testing requirements including Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). Two non-animal tests covered by the ECHA advice were adopted as test guidelines in February by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The two methods are the direct peptide reactivity assay and the Keratinosens ARE-Nrf2 luciferase test method. The human cell line activation test, which is also discussed in the ECHA advice, is still being considered by OECD and is available in draft form.

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Apr 30, 2015
Welcome to NICEATM News!

Welcome to the new "NICEATM News" listserv. We have switched to this new listserv to enhance our communications with you. The new listserv will provide us with more capability, such as the ability to attach files to notices. As a subscriber to the "ICCVAM-all" listserv you have been automatically subscribed to the new listserv. If you have any questions, let us know at NICEATMNews@mail.nih.gov.

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Apr 23, 2015
NTP Requests Comments on Human "S1500" Gene Set

NTP requests comments on a set of human genes that have been identified and prioritized as environmentally responsive genes. This set of approximately 1500 "sentinel" genes was developed with input from the scientific community, to be used in toxicogenomics studies to screen human cells or tissues against large numbers of chemicals and evaluate transcriptional changes in response to chemical exposures. The goal is to develop a gene set that (1) is representative of highly diverse gene expression changes reported to date, (2) is capable of predicting the gene expression changes observed across the transcriptome, and (3) covers all major biological pathways.

The current version of the human S1500 gene set can be found on the NTP website. This site will be updated as changes to the list are made. The consensus strategy for selection of an appropriate sentinel gene set can be accessed at the same site. Comments on the gene set should be submitted as Microsoft Word or Excel files to Genelist@niehs.nih.gov by May 15.

May 15, 2015
Apr 14, 2015 ICCVAM Public Forum May 15, 2015
Apr 14, 2015
FDA Science Forum

The FDA will hold a Science Forum on May 27-28 at their White Oak Campus in Silver Spring, Maryland. The Forum will highlight the FDA's cutting-edge research, demonstrate how this research informs FDA's regulatory decision-making, and provide an opportunity for internal and external participants to develop collaborations. The focus of this year's Forum will be FDA's eight Regulatory Science priority areas, one of which is "Modernize Toxicology to Enhance Product Safety."

The Forum is open to FDA staff, FDA collaborators, and the public; you may attend in person or view presentations remotely. There is no registration fee, but in-person and remote attendees must register by May 15, and early registration is recommended for in-person attendees as seating is limited. More information and links to registration forms are available on the FDA website.

May 15, 2015
Apr 14, 2015
UK Issues Update on Animal Reduction in Scientific Research

The United Kingdom Home Office and partner agencies have published a report, "Working to Reduce the Use of Animals in Scientific Research: Delivery Report." This document describes progress on actions set out in the similarly titled "Delivery Plan" published in February of 2014. The document is available on the Gov.UK website.

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Apr 14, 2015 NICEATM SOT Posters Available -
Mar 18, 2015
Request for Proposals for In Vitro Method Development

The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. (PISC) is accepting proposals for funding of the development and preliminary validation of in vitro methods for hazard assessment of inhaled aerosolized multiwalled carbon nanotubes. This request builds on recommendations from a February workshop at which experts from various sectors and disciplines considered requirements for in vitro models for this purpose and made recommendations on cell types, exposure systems, endpoints, and dosimetry considerations for such systems. For more information and an application form, please visit the PISC website. The deadline for proposals is May 29.

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Mar 18, 2015
Webinar to Describe Tools for In Vitro to In Vivo Extrapolation

A webinar titled "COSMOS: Automated In Silico Tools for In Vitro to In Vivo Extrapolation," will be presented on April 13 at 10:00 AM U.S. Eastern Time. EURL ECVAM scientists will provide the latest information on computational tools developed by the COSMOS project (http://www.cosmostox.eu/) within the Seurat 1 cluster (http://www.seurat-1.eu/). These automated tools can be used to extrapolate from in vitro concentration to in vivo human exposure doses or viceversa, in order to perform a better risk assessment. These tools are based solely on in vitro and in silico predictions thus promoting the 3Rs approaches.

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Feb 27, 2015 NICEATM and ICCVAM Activities at SOT -
Feb 27, 2015
National Library of Medicine Seeks Input on Mission and Vision

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has issued a Request for Information on the current value and future need for NLM programs, resources, research and training efforts, and services such as databases, software and collections. Input is requested from the general public and specifically from stakeholder groups such as researchers, health professionals, and individuals or institutions that use NLM services. Of particular interest is input on how NLM could better position itself to address challenges associated with biomedical informatics, big data, data science, electronic health records, and digital publications. Responses will be considered by a working group of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director as part of a process of articulating a new strategic vision for NLM. The complete Request for Information can be found on the NIH website. Responses are requested by March 13.

Mar 13, 2015
Feb 27, 2015
New Version of QSAR Toolbox Available

QSAR Toolbox is a software package developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to make quantitative structure–activity relationship (QSAR) technology readily accessible, more transparent, and less costly, thereby increasing regulatory acceptance of QSAR analyses. An update of the QSAR Toolbox (version 3.3.2) is now available. The update contains some new scientific features, including improvement and modifications of the general mechanistic Cramer schemes, as well as bug fixes and usability improvements. QSAR Toolbox can be downloaded from the QSAR Toolbox website, where you can also find the release notes with the change log and an upgrade manual for this new version.

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Feb 10, 2015 ICCVAM Webinar on Reverse Toxicokinetic Models: Presentations and Video Available -
Feb 10, 2015
EPA Requests Comment on Three Draft Test Guidelines

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requests comment on three draft test guidelines in its 890 Series, "Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program Test Guidelines." The draft guidelines relate to the following three non-mammalian species tests identified under Tier 2 of the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program: Japanese quail 2-generation reproduction test; Medaka extended 1-generation reproduction test; and Larval amphibian growth and development assay. The draft test guidelines and supporting documents are available on the Regulations.gov website. Comments are requested by March 31.

Mar 31, 2015
Feb 10, 2015
OECD Publishes New Test Guidelines for Skin Sensitization

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development recently published Test Guideline 442C, "In Chemico Skin Sensitisation: Direct Peptide Reactivity Assay (DPRA)," and Test Guideline 442D, "In Vitro Skin Sensitisation: ARE-Nrf2 Luciferase Test Method." Both test methods are available on the OECD ILibrary website.

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Feb 10, 2015
FDA Hosts Workshop on Systematic Review

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will hold a workshop titled "What is Systematic Review? An Introductory Course" on March 9 at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in College Park, Maryland. This workshop will present a framework for systematic review and evidence integration for reaching hazard identification conclusions.

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Feb 10, 2015
Upcoming Alternatives Assessment Webinars

Registration is now open for two upcoming Alternatives Assessment webinars. On Tuesday, February 17, a webinar on "The Use of QSARs, Read-Across, and Analogue Approaches to Inform Decision-Making in Alternatives Assessments" will be presented by Dr. Jay Tunkel and Ms. Cathy Rudisill of SRC, Inc. On Thursday, February 26, a webinar on "Alternatives Assessment Under REACH: Lessons Learned" will be presented by Theirry Nicot and Dennis Mottet of the European Chemicals Agency, Julius Waller of the EPPA, and Tatiana Santos of the European Environment Bureau.

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Feb 04, 2015 Deadline Extended for NIEHS Grants Feb 19, 2015
Feb 04, 2015
Webinar on Acute Toxicity Testing March 5

The PETA International Science Consortium, Ltd., and Chemical Watch are presenting a webinar series focused on alternative methods and testing strategies that can be used to meet REACH requirements. The fifth of these webinars, which focuses on acute systemic toxicity, will be presented March 5 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time. Dr. Pilar Prieto, European Union Reference Laboratory on Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM), will present on EURL ECVAM's recently released strategy to replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in the assessment of acute mammalian systemic toxicity. Following Dr. Prieto's talk, Dr. Lawrence Milchak from 3M will speak to industry experiences on the use of alternative strategies to meet acute toxicity testing requirements.

Information about the webinar and a link to registration are available on the Chemical Watch website. Information about the webinar series and links to recordings of past webinars are available on the PETA International Science Consortium website.

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Feb 04, 2015
FDA Issues Guidance on Photosafety Testing

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued guidance document "S10 Photosafety Evaluation of Pharmaceuticals." This guidance outlines details on when photosafety testing is warranted and on possible assessment strategies. The purpose of the guidance is to recommend international standards for photosafety assessment and to harmonize such assessments that support human clinical trials and marketing authorization for pharmaceuticals. An announcement of availability of guidance was published in the January 27 Federal Register.

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Feb 04, 2015
Survey Requests Input on Methodologies for Risk Assessment of Mixtures

The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) is conducting a survey to collect information on expert experiences and opinions on methodologies for the risk assessment of chemical mixtures. The survey is primarily addressed to experts in authorities, academia, NGOs, consultancy and industry who are involved in the risk assessment (human or environmental) of chemical mixtures. However, JRC is making the survey available to, and welcomes responses from, anyone with a general interest in the issue. The survey is available on the JRC website and will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Responses are requested by February 28.

Feb 28, 2015
Jan 26, 2015
Genotoxicity Dataset Now Available from EURL ECVAM

The Carcinogenicity Genotoxicity eXperience (CGX) dataset is now available on the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) website. The CGX dataset is a collection of publicly available data that can be used for a variety of scientific purposes including structural-based evaluation of chemical genotoxicity and the development of alternative approaches to animal testing such as structure-activity relationships.

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Jan 26, 2015
Grants Available from the Alternatives Research and Development Foundation

The Alternatives Research and Development Foundation (ARDF) is soliciting proposals for its 2015 Alternatives Research Grant Program. Grants of up to $40,000 are available to support individual projects of scientific merit and feasibility with potential to significantly reduce or replace laboratory animal use. Preference will be given to projects at U.S. universities and research institutions and projects that use pathway-based approaches. Application deadline for the grants is April 30, 2015.

Apr 30, 2015
Jan 26, 2015
Opportunity Available for Development of Aptamer Technologies

OPPORTUNITY AVAILABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT OF APTAMER TECHNOLOGIES
The NC3Rs "CRACK IT" project is seeking collaborators to join with the Aptamer Group on projects to develop aptamers to replace antibodies, to develop new applications for aptamers, and to produce relevant proof-of-concept data. Funding is available until June 17, 2015. For more information, visit the CRACK IT website.

Jun 17, 2015
Jan 26, 2015
FutureTox III, November 19-20, 2015

The Society of Toxicology (SOT) will hold its third FutureTox conference on November 19-20, 2015, at the Hilton Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia. The conference, titled "Bridges for Translation—Transforming 21st Century Science into Risk Assessment and Regulatory Decision-Making," will include plenary and poster presentations as well as topical breakout groups. The overarching objectives of the meeting include advancing the cornerstones for high-throughput risk assessment; taking in vitro data and in silico models forward while reducing reliance on animal testing; and exploring progress and identifying challenges in implementing the emerging "big data" toolbox for regulatory decision-making. A link to the conference website will be available soon on the SOT website.

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Jan 16, 2015
Workshop on In Vitro Tools and Models for Drug Discovery

A free workshop on "Validation and Qualification of New In Vitro Tools and Models for the Pre-clinical Drug Discovery Process" will be presented at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on February 12. The workshop is being organized by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) in partnership with the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). It will be held in the Lister Hill Auditorium on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. Additional information, agenda, a link to registration, and information on previous workshops in this series can be found on the NIBIB website.

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Jan 16, 2015 NTP Releases Handbook on Systematic Review -
Jan 12, 2015 ICCVAM to Present Webinar on Reverse Toxicokinetic Models -
Jan 12, 2015
Draft EPA Process Document Available for Comment

A draft U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) document describing a "Process for Establishing and Implementing Alternative Approaches to Traditional In Vivo Acute Toxicity Studies" is now available for comment. The document describes a transparent, stepwise process for evaluating and implementing alternative methods of testing for acute oral, dermal, and inhalation toxicity, along with skin and eye irritation and skin sensitization. In addition, there is a discussion of the three major phases of the process and the implications for reporting information under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Please submit comments on the document by email to Christopher Schlosser. Comments will be accepted until March 10.

Mar 10, 2015
Dec 16, 2014
Workshop to Evaluate Alternative Tests for Pertussis Vaccines

The NC3Rs is hosting a workshop to bring together scientists from government, industry, academia, and research institutions to discuss and evaluate alternative methods to the murine histamine sensitization test (HIST) for monitoring of residual pertussis toxin activity in acellular pertussis vaccines. NICEATM is providing administrative support for the workshop.

The workshop, titled "In Search of Acceptable Alternatives to the Murine Histamine Sensitization Test: What Is Possible and Practical?" will be held in London, England, on March 4-5, 2015. Workshop participants will review and discuss data from an ongoing study of a cell-based assay proposed as a replacement for HIST, issues associated with alternatives validation, and recent relevant scientific advances.

Registration is free but advance registration by February 6, 2015, is required.

Feb 06, 2015
Dec 16, 2014
Video of Effectopedia Webinar Available on YouTube

A recording of the December 3 webinar demonstrating use of Effectopedia is available on YouTube. Effectopedia is an open-source knowledge aggregation and collaboration tool to support the development of adverse outcome pathways (AOPs).

The webinar, which runs approximately 1-1/2 hours, demonstrates searching, viewing, and creating the graphic structure of an AOP; show examples of existing AOPs; and discuss integration of Effectopedia with the AOP Knowledge Base and information exchange with the AOP Wiki.

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Nov 26, 2014
EPA FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel to Discuss Prioritization of EDSP Chemicals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Scientific Advisory Panel will meet on December 2–5 at the EPA Conference Center in Arlington, Virginia. The panel will consider and review scientific issues related to endocrine activity and exposure-based prioritization and screening. NICEATM scientists will present their work on assessing bioactivity of chemicals tested in the ToxCast high-throughput screening assays. Read summary of the meeting and the NICEATM presentations in the January Environmental Factor newsletter.

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Nov 26, 2014 NIEHS Offers Grants for Assay Development Feb 13, 2015
Nov 26, 2014
Frank Gerberick Wins Cave Award

At the recent annual meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology, Dr. Frank Gerberick of The Proctor & Gamble Company was presented with the William and Eleanor Cave Award in recognition of his contributions to alternative test method development, which include the development of the direct peptide reactivity assay (DPRA). The Cave Award is awarded by the Alternatives Research and Development Foundation to recognize achievements in reducing, refining, and replacing animals in testing.

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Nov 18, 2014
NIH Seeks Information on Making Data Usable

onal Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and other NIH institutes have issued a Request for Information (RFI): Making Data Usable—A Framework for Community-Based Data and Metadata Standards Efforts for NIH-relevant Research. The mission of the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative is to enable biomedical scientists to capitalize more fully on the Big Data being generated by those research communities. BD2K aims to develop new approaches, standards, methods, tools, software, and competencies that will enhance the use of biomedical Big Data by supporting research, implementation, and training in data science and other relevant fields. An important aspect of this process is to make biomedical research data and resources maximally shareable and reusable. For this reason, BD2K is formulating approaches to encourage development and facilitate the use of data-related (including metadata) standards more broadly across the biomedical research community and is, therefore, interested in the issues involved in developing community-based standards. This RFI solicits comments and ideas related to how community standards activities are initiated, developed, disseminated, and sustained, as well as any role that NIH might play in helping to catalyze such efforts. Deadline for responses is December 5; view additional information and instructions for submitting comments

Dec 05, 2014
Nov 18, 2014
NEAVS Offering Fellowship Grant

The New England Anti-Vivsection Society (NEAVS) is accepting applications for its annual $40,000 postdoctoral fellowship grant. The fellowship will be awarded to a woman interested in and committed to developing, validating, or using non-animal alternatives in the investigation of women's health or sex differences. Citizens or residents of any country may apply. Key criteria for the award will be the potential for the greatest future impact of the funded research as well as the candidate's experience and commitment to alternatives to animal research. Applications are due by December 15.

Dec 15, 2014
Nov 18, 2014
Training Video on BCOP Eye Irritation Method

The European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) has posted a training video on the bovine corneal opacity and permeability (BCOP) test method on YouTube. The BCOP is an in vitro method for identification of eye irritants. The video was produced by the Institute for In Vitro Sciences.

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Nov 06, 2014
OECD to Present Webinar on Status and Use of Effectopedia

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will present a webinar on Effectopedia, an open-source knowledge aggregation and collaboration tool to support the development of adverse outcome pathways (AOPs). The webinar will demonstrate searching, viewing, and creating the graphic structure of an AOP; show examples of existing AOPs; and discuss integration of Effectopedia with the AOP Knowledge Base and information exchange with the AOP Wiki.

The webinar will be presented twice: Monday, Dec. 1, 9:30–11:00 a.m. Central European Time, and Wednesday, Dec. 3, 5:00–6:30 p.m. Central European Time. To participate, please email Hristo Aladjov.

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Nov 06, 2014
OpenTox USA Meeting to Include Session on AOPs

The 2015 OpenTox USA meeting with the theme of "Driving the Big Science Challenge in Safety Forward" will take place in Baltimore, Maryland, on February 10–12, 2015. Session topics will include (1) data science, (2) adverse outcome pathways, (3) exposure modeling, (4) integrating evidence and analysis, and (5) risk assessment. Registration for the OpenTox USA is open and abstracts for poster presentations are being accepted.

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Nov 03, 2014
NC3Rs CRACK IT Challenge: QSARs Mix

The UK National Centre for the Replacement Reduction & Refinement of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) is offering a grant opportunity through its "CRACK IT" Challenge program. The aim of this Challenge is for the development of a model or expert system that enables reliable prediction of skin and eye irritation based on structural information or 'structural alerts'. This tool should specifically be able to predict the toxicity associated with a mixture of substances assuming a proper compositional analysis of the test mixture and applying a weighted average score approach.

Up to £100,000 over one year will be awarded under this challenge, which is sponsored by Shell. NC3Rs challenges may be met by applications from single organisations/investigators or from consortia. The lead applicant must be from the European Union. The deadline to submit applications is 12 noon, 19 November 2014. View more information on the CRACK IT website.

Nov 19, 2014
Oct 23, 2014
OECD Scoping Document on Thyroid Assays Available

A document issued recently by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) provides recommendations for development and use of existing in vitro and ex vivo thyroid assays and identifies data gaps that require development of additional tests. NICEATM scientists contributed to the development of the "New Scoping Document on In Vitro and Ex Vivo Assays for the Identification of Modulators of Thyroid Hormone Signalling." The document was developed under the leadership of experts from the OECD Validation Management Group on Non-Animal Testing and the OECD Expert Group on Amphibian Testing. It is available, along with other OECD documents on endocrine disruptor testing, on the OECD website.

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Oct 23, 2014
Survey on Alternative Approaches for Toxicity Testing

The UCLA Sustainable Technology and Policy Program is conducting a survey to examine the use of alternative approaches for toxicity testing in various settings. In particular, the survey is collecting information on participants' views on alternative approaches and the factors that drive or prevent their adoption.

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Oct 23, 2014 Presentations from AOP Workshop Available on NTP Website -
Oct 08, 2014
New OECD Test Guidelines Available

In late September, the OECD Council adopted three new chemical test guidelines and updates and corrections to six existing test guidelines. The new test guidelines are Test Guideline 238, "Sediment-free Myriophyllum spicatum Toxicity Test," Test Guideline 239, "Water-sediment Myriophyllum spicatum Toxicity Test," and Test Guideline 489, "In vivo Mammalian Alkaline Comet Assay." A correction was issued to Test Guideline 310, "Ready Biodegradation – CO2 in Sealed Vessels (Headspace Test)," and updates were issued for test guidelines for in vitro skin corrosion methods and four genotoxicity tests. The new and updated test guidelines are available on the OECD website.

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Oct 08, 2014
DB-ALM Update Launched

The European Union Joint Research Centre (JRC) administers DB-ALM, a database of alternative methods for research and regulatory use. The JRC recently announced an update to DB-ALM offering a redesigned data retrieval approach with improved flexibility and support. New methods for identification of potential carcinogens, eye irritants, and skin sensitizers have also been added to the database.

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Oct 08, 2014
PETA and Chemical Watch Present REACH Webinars

The PETA International Science Consortium, Ltd., and Chemical Watch are presenting a webinar series focused on alternative methods and testing strategies that can be used to meet REACH requirements. Topics for the webinars will include in silico tools, skin and eye irritation and corrosion, skin sensitization, and acute toxicity. Information about the webinar series is available on the PETA International Science Consortium website. The first webinar on October 22 will discuss the OECD QSAR toolbox and read-across, and will be presented by Drs. Grace Patlewicz (DuPont) and Mark Cronin (Liverpool John Moores University). The second webinar on skin irritation and corrosion will take place on November 11 and will be presented by Drs. Gertrude-Emilia Costin (Institute for In Vitro Sciences) and Costanza Rovida (REACH Mastery).

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Sep 25, 2014
OECD Announces AOP Wiki

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has launched the AOP Wiki, a resource for developing and sharing adverse outcome pathways (AOPs). The AOP Wiki is the first module of the OECD Adverse Outcome Pathways Knowledge Base, which will provide a focal point for AOP development and dissemination. An overview of the AOP Wiki was presented at a workshop on "Adverse Outcome Pathways: From Research to Regulation" on September 3-5, which was organized by NICEATM and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Workshop materials and an email list managed by NICEATM to provide information about events and activities of interest to AOP developers and users, are available on the NTP website.

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Sep 25, 2014
European Center Releases Review of Alternative Methods

In support of European Union legislation on safety of chemicals, the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) has published a state-of-the art review of test methods and computational approaches that help promote the replacement, reduction, and refinement of animal experiments in the safety assessment of chemicals. The report "Alternative Methods for Regulatory Toxicology – A State-of-the-Art Review" focuses on "non-standard" methods, i.e. those that are not included in current regulatory guidelines. The review was prepared by JRC's European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing, a partner with NICEATM and ICCVAM in the International Cooperation for Alternative Test Methods.

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Sep 25, 2014 ICCVAM Advisory Committee Meets -
Sep 25, 2014
Summary Available of Workshop on Pertussis Vaccine Testing

A summary of a recent workshop on progress towards replacing the murine histamine sensitization test for safety evaluation of pertussis vaccines is available on the NC3Rs website. The workshop, a satellite meeting of the Ninth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, was organized by NICEATM and international collaborators.

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Sep 25, 2014
Data Viewer Available

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released the first beta version of the Interactive Chemical Safety for Sustainability (iCSS) Dashboard. The iCSS Dashboard provides an interactive tool to explore in vitro high-throughput data generated by the ToxCast and Tox21 projects. The iCSS Dashboard is best used with the Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox web browsers. This resource is still under development and EPA welcomes your feedback.

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Sep 11, 2014
New Resources for Adverse Outcome Pathways Development

On September 25, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will launch the AOP Wiki, a resource for developing and sharing adverse outcome pathways (AOPs). The AOP Wiki is the first module of the OECD Adverse Outcome Pathways Knowledge Base, which will provide a focal point for AOP development and dissemination.

NICEATM and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine held a workshop on "Adverse Outcome Pathways: From Research to Regulation" on September 3-5. Materials from the workshop, including links to the plenary session videocasts and summaries of the breakout group discussions, are available on the NTP website. Also on this page is a link to the Adverse Outcome Pathways Community listserv, an email list managed by NICEATM to provide information about events and activities of interest to AOP developers and users. You may subscribe to the list on the NIH website.

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Aug 04, 2014 ICCVAM Releases 2012-2013 Biennial Report -
Aug 04, 2014
National Library of Medicine Updates Hazardous Substances Data Bank

The Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), a part of NLM's Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET®), has undergone numerous recent enhancements to its records for chemicals and substances. Examples include the creation of new subheadings in the human and non-human toxicity excerpts to allow users to more efficiently locate data from in vitro and other alternative methods. Coverage includes results from methods validated by ICCVAM and the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing.

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Jul 23, 2014
USDA Offers Training on Searching for Alternatives

USDA's Animal Welfare Information Center (AWIC) holds free workshops at the National Agricultural Library to help researchers explore alternatives to procedures that may cause pain or distress to their animals. Training is targeted to principal investigators, IACUC members, administrators of animal use programs, veterinarians, librarians, and other information specialists. The workshops provide an overview of relevant topics and resources, instruction on the use of existing databases and websites, and hands-on practice conducting online database searches.

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Jul 16, 2014 ICCVAM Advisory Committee to Meet in September -
Jul 08, 2014
EPA to Hold ToxCast Data Summit in September

EPA's Second ToxCast Data Summit is scheduled for September 29-30, 2014 in Research Triangle Park, NC. The goal of the Data Summit is to encourage the user community (industry, non-governmental organizations, academia, governmental agencies and more) to present their thoughts on how to use the ToxCast data and to discuss how to implement these ideas to inform chemical policy and regulatory decisions. Individuals interested in presenting ideas about the use or analysis of new ToxCast high-throughput screening data should indicate their intention to submit an abstract on the Data Summit registration form so they can be contacted by a program committee member. Deadline for submission of abstracts is August 1.

Aug 01, 2014
Jul 08, 2014 NICEATM and ICCVAM Activities at Ninth World Congress -
Jun 19, 2014 NICEATM Requests Information on Technologies Used for Inhalation Testing -
Jun 19, 2014 ICCVAM to Hold Public Forum June 25 -
May 16, 2014 NICEATM Organizing Satellite Meeting on Alternatives for Acellular Pertussis Vaccines at Ninth World Congress -
May 16, 2014
European Union Alternatives Center Releases CheLIST Database

The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) has just released the "Chemical Lists Information System" (CheLIST) tool. CheLIST was developed to assist test method developers in choosing appropriate reference chemicals for development of in vitro methods or computational biology models for predictive toxicology or pharmacology. It provides a means to determine whether a chemical or group of chemicals has been tested in a major European Union or international research study, and may also assist in determining whether the chemical appears on a specific regulatory inventory. More information about CheLIST on the EURL ECVAM website

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Apr 16, 2014 Upcoming Workshop: Adverse Outcome Pathways: From Research to Regulation -
Apr 11, 2014
EURL ECVAM Survey on In Vitro Methods for Estimating Human Hepatic Metabolism

Hepatic metabolic clearance plays a key role in the transformation and the elimination of chemicals from the human body, and in vitro methods for human hepatic metabolic clearance/stability are being developed. The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) in conducting a survey to identify in vitro human hepatic metabolic clearance/stability methods that can contribute to the development of harmonized standards and associated international test guidelines. Survey is available through June 30 on the EURL ECVAM website

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Apr 11, 2014 NICEATM and Collaborators Publish Open-Source Integrated Testing Strategy for Skin Sesitization Potency -
Mar 26, 2014 ICCVAM to Hold Public Forum -
Mar 13, 2014
EPA Updates EDSP Comprehensive Management Plan

The EPA has updated its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP) Comprehensive Management Plan to emphasize the utilization of advanced informational technology and computational methods. The mission of the EDSP is to protect people, wildlife and our environment from chemicals that adversely affect endocrine systems by screening pesticides, chemicals and environmental contaminants for their potential effects on estrogen, androgen and thyroid hormone systems. The updated 2014 EDSP Comprehensive Management Plan provides strategic guidance for agency personnel and outlines the critical EDSP activities that are planned for this program over the next five years. Among the many critical activities is a core focus on using informational technology to enhance data interpretation and applying computational methods to more efficiently prioritize and screen the universe of EDSP chemicals for potential effects on the endocrine system. This document is made available to the public a s a source of information and to ensure open transparency. View detailed information on the EPA website

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Mar 13, 2014 Collaborative Workshop on Aquatic Models and 21st Century Toxicology -
Feb 19, 2014
United Kingdom Releases Animal Use Report

A policy document titled "Working to Reduce the Use of Animals in Research" was published February 7 by the United Kingdom Home Office and Department of Health. The document details how the UK government will use technological advancements and 3Rs approaches to meet its commitment to reduce the use of animals in research. View document on UK government website

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Feb 19, 2014
European Alternatives Group Issues Recommendations on KeratinoSens

EURL ECVAM (European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing) has issued final recommendations on the use of the KeratinoSens (TM) assay for skin sensitization testing. EURL ECVAM recommended that KeratinoSens was useful in distinguishing sensitizers from nonsensitizers and could be used in an integrated approach with complementary information from other assays to determine skin sensitization potential. However, KeratinoSens should not be considered a stand-alone full replacement method. EURL ECVAM found the KeratinoSens assay to be transferable to laboratories experienced in cell culture and reproducible within and between laboratories.

View information about the EURL ECVAM evaluation of KeratinoSens on their website

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Feb 04, 2014 NICEATM Activities at the Society of Toxicology meeting -
Feb 04, 2014 Summary of November Meeting: International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods -
Feb 04, 2014
ICCVAM Elects Co-Chairs

At ICCVAM's January meeting, the principal representatives from the 15 ICCVAM agencies elected Dr. Abby Jacobs, FDA, and Dr. Anna Lowit, EPA, to serve as co-chairs of ICCVAM for the coming year. Drs. Jacobs and Lowit served as acting co-chairs of ICCVAM during 2013 and will continue to lead ICCVAM as it defines new procedures and sets goals and priorities for the near future. We encourage all ICCVAM stakeholders to join NICEATM and ICCVAM in thanking Drs. Jacobs and Lowit for taking on this responsibility and supporting them as they lead ICCVAM in its future activities.

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Jan 29, 2014 NICEATM Announces Availability of Integrated Testing Strategy on NTP Website -
Jan 29, 2014 NICEATM Announces Availability of LLNA Database on NTP Website -
Jan 17, 2014 Grants Available from the Alternatives Research and Development Foundation Apr 30, 2014
Jan 07, 2014
Appointment of Dr. Warren Casey as Director of NICEATM

During 2013 Dr. Warren Casey served as Acting Director of the NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM) within the Division of the National Toxicology Program (DNTP) at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Dr. John Bucher, Director of the DNTP, announced January 7 that Dr. Casey has agreed to serve as the next permanent Director of NICEATM. In making this announcement, Dr. Bucher congratulated Dr. Casey on an outstanding first year and said he looks forward to many more successful years of service to NICEATM, ICCVAM and ICATM.

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