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National Toxicology Program

National Toxicology Program

UPDATE NewsletterUPDATE NewsletterApril 2017

NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods

By Catherine Sprankle

Strategic roadmap to establish new approaches for evaluating the safety of chemicals and medical products in the United States

The Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) is coordinating the development of a strategic roadmap for incorporating new approaches into safety testing of chemicals and medical products in the United States. This effort will increase confidence in alternative methods and improve their relevance to human health outcomes. The effort will also maximize efficiency while maintaining a commitment to replace, reduce, and refine animal use. Federal agencies, the regulated community, non-governmental organizations, and other technical experts will work together to (1) help guide the development of new tools, based on new science and technology, to support regulatory and research needs; (2) use knowledge of human and animal biology as appropriate for establishing confidence in new approaches; and (3) help facilitate and encourage the implementation and use of these new approaches by federal agencies and regulated industries.

ICCVAM, which is supported by NICEATM, will hold a Public Forum on May 23 to provide an opportunity for input on this effort and other ICCVAM agency activities. The public forum will be held at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, and webcast. More information about the public forum is available at

Two other meetings in 2017 will offer opportunities for public input on the strategic roadmap:

  • NTP Board of Scientific Counselors meeting on June 29 at NIEHS
  • Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods on September 18 and 19 in the Washington, DC area

NICEATM releases new resource to support alternative methods development

NICEATM has launched the Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE), an online source of high-quality curated data and tools to support development and evaluation of new, revised, and alternative methods. ICE was developed to address the needs frequently expressed by NICEATM stakeholders.

ICE provides a query tool that enables visualization of curated in vivo test data, reference chemical information, in vitro assay data, and in silico predictions to facilitate hypothesis generation and testing. Data for about 10,000 chemicals are available; endpoints include acute oral toxicity, skin and eye irritation, skin sensitization, and endocrine activity. ICE also includes predicted physicochemical property data for about 40,000 chemicals. All data in ICE are publicly available with no restrictions on use.

Open-source, downloadable computational software and workflows, targeted for release in an update of ICE this summer, will enable in silico predictions to be made using either data obtained from ICE or provided by the user. ICE is available at

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The Update Newsletter is produced by NTP Office of Liaison, Policy, and Review. The text is not copyrighted and can be reprinted without permission. If you use parts of the Update Newsletter in your publication, we ask that you provide us with a copy for our records. We welcome your comments and suggestions.

Director of Office of Liaison, Policy, and Review and Editor-in-Chief: Mary Wolfe | Managing Editor: Anna Lee Mosley