National Toxicology Program

National Toxicology Program

UPDATE NewsletterUPDATE NewsletterOctober 2015

NICEATM co-organizes workshop on alternatives to acute toxicity testing

By Catherine Sprankle

On September 24-25, representatives from industry, academia, and regulatory agencies came together for the Alternative Approaches for Identifying Acute Systemic Toxicity: Moving from Research to Regulatory Testing workshop, held at the Porter Neuroscience Center, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. The approximately 60 attendees discussed national and international regulatory requirements for acute toxicity testing, and considered recent case studies of using non-animal approaches for this testing. This workshop was co-organized by NICEATM, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. A public, state-of-the science webinar series was held prior to the workshop on currently available alternative approaches to acute toxicity testing and their scientific challenges.

Several topics were identified during the workshop as necessary for meaningful progress in identifying and implementing alternatives: high quality reference data, training on use and interpretation of computational approaches, and global harmonization of testing requirements. Attendees also noted the need to adequately characterize variability in reference data being used to evaluate newly developed approaches. A number of sources of available reference data were identified and discussed, and scientists at NTP and NICEATM plan to take a lead role in coordinating data collection and accessibility. Breakout groups explored different approaches to reducing or replacing animal use for acute toxicity testing, with each group crafting a roadmap and strategy for accomplishing this within a three-year timeframe. NICEATM will also coordinate the creation and implementation of a working group comprised of workshop participants that will be charged with implementing the strategies.

The workshop proceedings will be submitted for publication early next year. All materials, including the program and presentations, are available on the NICEATM website at http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/atwksp-2015.

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