The Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) is now accepting proposals for the 2019 Science-Based Refinement Awards.
A new priority of the CAAT Refinement Program is to help fund systematic reviews of frequently used and/or severe animal models to either refine them – if proven valid – or, when they are not representative for the intended purpose (e.g., to model a specific human malady), to demonstrate their weaknesses in an unbiased manner.
CAAT continues to fund non-invasive animal research projects to enhance the housing, handling, and/or experimental procedures for laboratory animals or that can reduce animal use.
Hence, the small grants are intended for those who work hands-on with animals, such as animal welfare scientists, veterinarians, and animal care technicians, as well as for researchers who conduct systematic reviews and meta-analyses of animal studies.
For information and application instructions, see CAAT Refinement Awards
The Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) has published a report summarizing activities of member agencies during 2016 and 2017. The 2016-2017 ICCVAM Biennial Report is available at https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/iccvamreport/2017/index.html.
The report highlights member agency activities supporting toxicology innovation, as well as regulatory agency initiatives to promote the 3Rs (replace, reduce, or refine animal use) and to provide information about the use of in vitro methods.
Key ICCVAM, ICCVAM agency and NICEATM accomplishments summarized in the report include:
- Publication of A Strategic Roadmap for Establishing New Approaches to Evaluate the Safety of Chemicals and Medical Products in the United States.
- Guidance documents published by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describing approaches to reduce animal use in testing required for pesticide registration.
- Notices published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture describing approaches to reduce animal use for vaccine testing.
- A Predictive Toxicology Roadmap published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- A non-animal defined approach developed by NICEATM and EPA that identifies substances that may interact with the androgen receptor.
- A non-animal defined approach developed by NICEATM and ICCVAM to predict skin sensitization risk.
- A proposed method developed in collaboration with international partners to evaluate non-animal approaches to identify skin sensitizers.
- Launch of the NICEATM Integrated Chemical Environment (ICE), an online resource that provides high-quality curated data and computational workflows for chemical safety assessment.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is holding a public hearing on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 on its Predictive Toxicology Roadmap. The Agency is seeking comments on how to foster the development and evaluation of emerging toxicological methods and new technologies and incorporate them into a regulatory review, as applicable.
The public hearing will be held at the FDA White Oak Campus in Silver Spring, Maryland, and will also be webcast. Those wishing to attend in person or view the webcast must register by Wednesday, August 29, 2018.
The June 30 Federal Register notice announcing the public hearing and providing instructions on submitting comments is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/06/29/2018-14052/the-food-and-drug-administration-predictive-toxicology-roadmap-and-its-implementation-public-hearing. More information about the FDA Predictive Toxicology Roadmap is available at https://www.fda.gov/ScienceResearch/AboutScienceResearchatFDA/ucm601090.htm. Information about the FDA White Oak Campus for those planning to attend in person is available at https://www.fda.gov/aboutfda/workingatfda/buildingsandfacilities/whiteoakcampusinformation/ucm241740.htm.
Findings show that although much 3Rs knowledge exists, its sharing can be improved through better coordination, communication and outreach, and by more emphasis on targeted education and training initiatives.