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National Toxicology Program

National Toxicology Program

UPDATE NewsletterUPDATE NewsletterJuly 2020

The NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM)

By Catherine Sprankle

SACATM to meet September 2-3; Registration open

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) will meet September 2-3. This meeting will be conducted as a public webcast. Information and registration to view the webcast and submit comments is available on the NTP website. The deadline to submit comments is August 26; registration to view the webcast will be open until the conclusion of the meeting.

SACATM is a federally chartered external advisory group of scientists from the public and private sectors, including representatives of regulated industry and national animal protection organizations. SACATM advises the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM), NICEATM, and the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and NTP regarding statutorily mandated duties of ICCVAM and activities of NICEATM.

EPA releases new approach methods work plan

On June 23, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its New Approach Methods Work Plan, which was created in response to the EPA Administrator’s 2019 directive to prioritize activities that will reduce the use of animal testing while continuing to protect human health and the environment. The work plan was developed by experts across the agency to set the objectives and strategies for using new approach methods to meet the ambitious goals set out in the Administrator's directive.

NICEATM activities at the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention annual meeting

The 60th Annual Meeting of the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention (formerly the Teratology Society) was held virtually from June 25-July 2.

Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer gave a platform presentation on “Automated applications of ontologies to standardize developmental toxicology study extraction.” She also presented a poster on the application of in vitro to in vivo extrapolation to developmental toxicity for valproic acid analogues.

NICEATM postdoctoral fellow Bevin Blake presented research conducted in the NTP Reproductive Endocrinology laboratory on gestational exposure to perfluorinated substances in the Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Fellow Platform session, competing for the Wilson Presentation Award. Blake recently joined NICEATM, where her research will focus on applying computational toxicology approaches to legacy animal study data and informing regulatory policy applications. She received her Ph.D. in toxicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Slides and video available from ICCVAM public forum

Slides and a video recording are available for the May 21 ICCVAM Public Forum. At the public forum, representatives of eight ICCVAM member agencies described work both to advance new approaches to safety testing of chemicals and medical products and to reduce the amount of testing required. Commenters at the forum commended the agencies’ progress and noted the importance of federal agencies taking leadership roles in reducing animal testing.

The annual public forum, usually an in-person event, was presented this year as a webinar that was attended by over 400 viewers. In addition to government agencies, viewers represented pharmaceutical and chemical companies, animal welfare organizations, and test method developers.

New tool maps chemical effects on the human body

Acting NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer is coauthor of a new publication in the journal Nucleic Acids Research that describes the Tox21BodyMap tool. Tox21BodyMap is an intuitive webtool allowing a user to identify target organs in the human body where a substance is estimated to be more likely to produce effects.

Borrel et al. 2020. Tox21BodyMap: a webtool to map chemical effects on the human body. Nucleic Acids Research.

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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