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Alternative Models in Toxicity Research

NTP continually faces the task of determining how to acquire the scientific information about a substances being evaluated that will best address identification of any related hazard from exposure and strengthen the science base. Implementing new strategies, which provide additional or more accurate information, can strengthen the science base on which regulatory decisions are based. Through NTP, efforts are focused on the development and validation of new alternative test systems (sensitive, specific, rapid) for toxicological research that will reduce, replace, or refine animal use.

Model systems under development include non-mammalian species, transgenic species, genetically engineered in vitro cell systems, microchip array technology, and computer-based predictive toxicology models. In addition, through the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM), a concerted and coordinated federal effort is being made to identify, validate, and promote regulatory acceptance of alternative test systems. University-based researchers are also involved in this alternative methods development and validation through the NIEHS/NIH extramural grants program.