International meeting highlights NTP efforts to replace animal tests
National Toxicology Program (NTP) activities to replace animals in toxicity testing were featured in panels, talks, posters, and a satellite workshop (see sidebar) during an international meeting August 20-24.
The Tenth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences drew hundreds of attendees to Seattle from around the world. The World Congress is convened every two or three years to assess progress in replacing, reducing, and refining animal use in life sciences research, testing, and education.
At the Tenth World Congress, presentations by 10 NTP staff and contractors showcased the program’s latest activities. NTP scientists demonstrated their leadership in the field as they co-chaired four sessions of the meeting.
International presenters took the stage in two sessions chaired by Warren Casey, Ph.D., director of the NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM). “Global Efforts Moving Towards Replacement of Animals” and “International Approaches to Validation” discussed adoption of alternatives to animal testing for chemical safety testing and drug development.
Casey focused on a strategic roadmap to establish new approaches for toxicity testing in the U.S. Both sessions were well attended by representatives of diverse stakeholder groups. “I’m hoping this indicates that the roadmap will encourage a broader participation in the promotion of alternative methods,” Casey remarked, referring to the high interest in the topic.
A draft of the strategic roadmap document will be released in September. It will be discussed at the Sept. 18-19 annual meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Alternative Toxicological Methods.
New approaches under development
In other sessions, NICEATM scientists described detailed approaches for replacing animal use. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, Ph.D., described how approaches developed through Tox21 and other high-throughput screening programs can help identify chemicals that could cause cancer (see related story).
Shannon Bell, Ph.D., and Xiaoqing Chang, Ph.D., from NICEATM contractor ILS, demonstrated NTP computational tools for interpreting the large amounts of data generated by high-throughput screening studies.
A complete list of NICEATM presentations at the World Congress is available on the NTP website.
(Catherine Sprankle is a communications specialist for ILS, the contractor supporting NICEATM.)