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National Toxicology Program

National Toxicology Program

UPDATE NewsletterUPDATE NewsletterJune 2022

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

By Catherine Sprankle

ICCVAM holds public forum

Over 100 viewers attended a virtual public forum on May 26 and 27 by the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM). This event is held annually to share information and facilitate direct communication of ideas and suggestions from stakeholders. ICCVAM receives support from NICEATM.

At the public forum, NICEATM, ICCVAM, and representatives from eight ICCVAM agencies described activities both to advance new approaches to safety testing of chemicals and medical products and to reduce the amount of testing required. Representatives of regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Food and Drug Administration described initiatives to promote use of new approach methodologies for required testing, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced guidance on stakeholder use of alternatives to animal testing. Research-focused presentations described advancements in development of computational approaches and testing platforms such as microphysiological systems.

Representatives of five stakeholder organizations presented public comments at the meeting. While praising accomplishments of NICEATM, ICCVAM, and ICCVAM member agencies, the speakers asked that agencies establish specific goals and timelines for acceptance of alternatives to animal testing. They stressed the need for education and communication about availability and use of alternatives, and noted the availability and willingness of stakeholder organizations to partner with agencies to provide resources. Commenters also noted the need for approaches to validation of new methods that focus on human relevance rather than animal data.

Slides and video from the public forum will be posted on the NTP website when available.

Session proposal deadline for 12th World Congress extended to June 10

The 12th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences (WC12) will be held August 27-31, 2023, in Niagara Falls, Canada. WC12 organizers are currently accepting session proposals aligned with the meeting themes:

  • Refinement and Impact on Science
  • Next-gen Education
  • Ethics, Welfare, Policies, and Regulations
  • Human-centered Biomedical Research
  • 21st Century Predictive Toxicology
  • Regulatory Acceptance and Global Harmonization

The deadline for session proposals has been extended to Friday, June 10. Proposals will be accepted for sessions in symposium, workshop, or dynamic panel/debate formats; suggestions of other formats will be considered as appropriate. Meeting organizers strongly encourage that proposals be designed to facilitate participation across multiple disciplines and sectors. Detailed information about proposal submissions is available on the WC12 website.

ASCCT annual meeting October 19-21; Abstracts due July 15

The 11th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) will be held October 19-21 in Research Triangle Park, NC. The theme of the meeting is “Shifting the Paradigm to Next-generation (Quantitative) Risk Assessment.” The meeting will feature the latest science in new approach methodologies and active discussions about the implementation of new science. Students and early-career scientists are especially encouraged to attend and present. The meeting will offer awards for students and early-career scientists, mentoring opportunities, and a continuing education course.

Abstracts are being accepted through July 15 for poster and oral presentations. Abstracts describing science and policy work representing all aspects of in vitro and computational toxicology are welcome.

Recent publications

  • Defined approaches to testing that do not use animals are gaining broader acceptance for identification of potential skin sensitizers. DNTP and Corteva Agrisciences collaborated to evaluate performance of a defined approach and three individual non-animal test methods to predicting skin sensitization hazard classifications of 27 agrochemical formulations. Results demonstrated that non-animal test methods have utility for evaluating the skin sensitization potential of agrochemical formulations as compared to animal reference data.
    Strickland et al. 2022. Application of defined approaches for skin sensitization to agrochemical products. Front Toxicol. https://doi.org/10.3389/ftox.2022.852856.
  • A new article in Toxics describes the redesign of the electrophilic allergen screening assay into a 96-well plate format that incorporates in-process control measurements to quantify key sources of variability each time the assay is run. ICCVAM members Elijah Petersen (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and John Gordon (CPSC) are coauthors of the article, as are NICEATM scientists Judy Strickland and Jim Truax (Inotiv, contractor supporting NICEATM).
    Petersen EJ, Uhl R, Toman B, Elliott JT, Strickland J, Truax J, Gordon J. Development of a 96-well electrophilic allergen screening assay for skin sensitization using a measurement science approach. Toxics. 2022; 10(5):257. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10050257.
  • A comprehensive review paper with authors from eight ICCVAM member agencies and the European Union proposes operational definitions for in vitro to in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE), presents literature examples for several common toxicity endpoints, and highlights their implications in decision-making processes across various federal agencies and international organizations. Current challenges and future needs in applying IVIVE are also summarized.
    Chang et al. 2022. IVIVE: facilitating the use of in vitro toxicity data in risk assessment and decision making. Toxics.
    https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10050232.
  • Application of IVIVE to developmental toxicity was explored in a collaboration among three federal offices and Stemina Biomarker Discovery Inc., which demonstrated the utility of a Stemina human stem cell-based assay to quantitatively assess a chemical's developmental toxicity potency.
    Chang et al. 2022. Quantitative in vitro to in vivo extrapolation for developmental toxicity potency of valproic acid analogues. Birth Defects Res.
    https://doi.org/10.1002/bdr2.2019.

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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