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National Toxicology Program

National Toxicology Program

UPDATE NewsletterUPDATE NewsletterAugust 2021

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

By Catherine Sprankle

NICEATM and ICCVAM activities at World Congress

The 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences will take place virtually August 23-September 1. Over 20 platform and poster presentations will be given including by Acting Predictive Toxicology Branch Chief Warren Casey, Ph.D., NICEATM Director Nicole Kleinstreuer, Ph.D., and members of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM).

A schedule of NICEATM and ICCVAM presentations at World Congress is available on the NTP website. Complete program information is available on the meeting website. Kleinstreuer is on the scientific committee to plan this conference.

Slides and video available from ICCVAM Public Forum

Slides and video are now available from the May 27 ICCVAM Public Forum. This event featured 13 presentations from nine ICCVAM member agencies describing activities supporting replacement, reduction, or refinement of animal use for chemical safety testing. Representatives from nine ICCVAM stakeholder organizations presented statements covering topics such as validation of new methods and incorporation of human-relevant data; means for effective communication with the public about the validity of non-animal methods; and the need for international agreement on testing requirements.

ICCVAM Advisory Committee to meet in September; Registration open

Registration is open for the virtual meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) on September 28-29. Interested persons may also register to submit comments to the committee. The deadline to register to submit comments is Friday, September 17; registration to view the webcast will be open until the meeting ends on September 29.

SACATM is a federally chartered external advisory group of scientists from the public and private sectors that advises ICCVAM, NICEATM, and the Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and NTP regarding statutorily mandated duties of ICCVAM and activities of NICEATM. Preliminary agenda items for the upcoming meeting include: (1) major ICCVAM accomplishments in 2021, (2) regulatory needs and research applications for ecotoxicity testing, (3) evolving approaches to validation, and (4) update on NICEATM computational resources. More information about the meeting is available in a June 30 Federal Register notice.

Recent publications

  • A paper co-authored by Casey discusses validation of the AR-CALUX test method, which identifies chemicals with the potential to interact with the androgen receptor. The validation study found that the method was able to detect androgen receptor agonists and antagonists.
    Milcamps et al. 2021. Reliability of the AR-CALUX in vitro method used to detect chemicals with (anti)androgen activity: results of an international ring trial. Toxicol Sci.
  • Kleinstreuer and other NICEATM and NTP scientists are co-authors of an article that discusses the impact of input data on artificial intelligence models. The article reviews efforts to improve confidence in the robustness of toxicological data. Case studies demonstrate the effect of data curation on the performance of artificial intelligence models for predicting skin sensitization and skin irritation.
    Alves et al. 2021. Curated data in — trustworthy in silico models out: the impact of data quality on the reliability of artificial intelligence models as alternatives to animal testing. ATLA.

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The Update Newsletter is produced by NTP Office of Policy, Review, and Outreach. 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 Policy, Review, and Outreach and Editor-in-Chief: Mary Wolfe | Managing Editor: Anna Lee Mosley