Non Animal Testing, Alternative Test Methods, In Vitro Toxicology, IIVS | NewsType Industry News
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Industry News

JRC Summer School 2019 on Non-Animal Approaches in Science

November 26, 2018

The JRC's EU Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL-ECVAM), is organizing a Summer School on May 21-24, 2019 at the JRC Ispra site in Italy. The “JRC Summer School on Non-Animal Approaches in Science: Challenges and Future Directions" intends to share knowledge and experience on the latest non-animal approaches used in research and testing including in vitro methods and computational modelling. It is tailored for post-graduate students (PhD/Master) and young scientists, active in fields related to toxicology, biomedical research, alternative methods, exposure science, or risk assessment. Find out more, including how to apply and a draft agenda.  Applications are now open until 15 January 2019.

Tobacco Companies Embracing In Vitro Toxicology

October 29, 2018

The tobacco industry is facing increased testing requirements for e-cigarettes and other tobacco products that entered the market after Feb. 15, 2007.  Companies hope in vitro tests that use human lung cells or tissues will be sufficient to show that their new tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, significantly reduce harm and disease and benefit the population as a whole when compared with traditional cigarettes.  Several of them are working with independent, third-party laboratories, including the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), to standardize in vitro assays for respiratory toxicology so that results from one lab can be easily compared with results from another. IIVS' Holger Behrsing discusses with C&EN.

China’s Compulsory Animal Testing for Cosmetics May Take More Than Five Years to Stop

October 17, 2018

By Amanda Lim, Editor (Singapore) CosmeticsDesign-Asia.com

  Although China has made significant strides in moving away from animal testing, its challenges suggest it may take more than five years for the country to completely stop compulsory animal-testing for cosmetics, says Hedy He, regulatory analyst and editor of ChemLinked: "In the short term a total ban on animal testing is unlikely given the lack of testing infrastructure and technical capacity shortcomings of the industry."

The Overarching Issue

Among the many obstacles, the overarching one is the insufficient technical capacity China faces when it comes to cosmetic safety assessment. He describes the country's cosmetic industry as fragmented with a market share divided among small and medium enterprises with relatively weak technical capacity. "China's government must take a major role in assuring product quality and safety assurance." He said.

The Botanic Factor

According to He, one of the biggest problems is that China's alternative methods are not developed enough: "The premise of stopping animal testing is the maturity of alternative methods.  At present, China still faces many challenges in the research and application of alternative methods." Currently, China is still unsure on whether botanical substances can be tested by alternative methods. Of the 8783 kinds of cosmetic ingredients in the inventory of Existing Cosmetic Ingredients in China (IECIC), 30% of them are animal and plant extractions. As demand for botanical ingredients continue to grow in the market, so does the challenge to find alternative methods to safely test them, said He. He explained that botanicals present obstacles as they are complex and derived from a large and varied class of materials that includes extracts, hydrolysates, juices and powders.  Additionally, He said colored substances can impede testing. These challenges are further complicated as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) testing guidelines do not align with China's own definition of cosmetics.  This makes botanical ingredients, and many cosmetic products as well, unsuitable for in vitro assessment, explained He.

Further Complications

Among the alternative methods in OECD guidelines are four approved skin models and two approved corneal models.  However, the intellectual property rights for these are owned by overseas enterprises and only one type can be produced and purchased in China. To conduct these tests overseas would also not be viable as the biologically active in vitro reconstructed human models would be greatly affected by transportation. As for domestic models, according to He, they are hardly validated and accepted worldwide. The cherry on top of the already complicated situation is money, said He.  "The strong method patent protection and special testing facilities will both increase the cost of testing and affect the promotion of alternative methods in China."

Right Foot Forward

The good news is that China has been taking measures that suggest they are keen on stopping compulsory animal testing.  To its credit, China has been investing heavily in new laboratories as well as training in non-animal testing. In collaboration with the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, a U.S. non-profit research and testing laboratory, Zhejiang FDA opened a non-animal testing laboratory in 2017.  There, they have been training Chinese scientists annually in tests using reconstructed skin cells for testing. Recently, the China Working Group for the Validation of Alternative Methods was established to improve the validation and utilization of alternative testing methods. This year, four alternatives to animal testing were opened for public consultation and are currently considered draft proposals.  Currently only two methods have been approved. The first was an alternative method for phototoxicity, which was approved two years after China waived animal testing on domestic non-special use cosmetics, such as nail polish.  The second was a test for skin corrosion, which was approved just last year.  
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Encouraging Regulatory Acceptance of Non-Animal Testing Methods Discussed at Annual SACATM Meeting

October 2, 2018

Among the topics discussed at the annual Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) meeting held in early September was ways to encourage both regulators and regulated industry to use new approach methodologies (NAMs). The meeting brought together experts from academia, industry, and animal welfare organizations and the importance of collaboration among the different groups and geographical regions was a recurring theme. Learn more

California Passes Ban on Cosmetics Tested on Animals

October 1, 2018

California now has the most stringent cruelty-free policies in the U.S., following Governor Jerry Brown's signing of the bill banning the sale of cosmetic products and ingredients tested on animals.  The California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act brings California in line with the EU and other global standards but still includes some exemptions for animal tests conducted to achieve compliance with other bodies, leaving some unanswered questions. Learn more

2018 Lush Prize Shortlist Announced

August 7, 2018

This year saw entries for the first time from Lebanon, Sri Lanka, and Turkey as the reach of the Lush Prize continues to grow.  From the many entrants, reviewers have selected a shortlist of 56 projects and 17 scientists across five award categories who go through to the final judging phase. Winners will be announced in November. Learn More.

Modernization of EPA “6-Pack” of Acute Toxicity Tests Continues

July 27, 2018

The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) continues to drive significant efforts in the United States to modernize the battery of acute toxicity tests classically known as the “6-pack.” Learn More.

Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act Passes in California Senate.

June 1, 2018

Yesterday, the California Senate passed the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act (SB1249) bringing the state one step closer to becoming the first state in the U.S. to ban the sale of animal-tested cosmetics. The bill will now move on to the Assembly. If passed, SB1249 will outlaw the sale of all animal-tested cosmetics (including makeup, hair and skin care, and personal hygiene products) by 2020. Read more.

Holger Behrsing, PhD, Presenting at SIVB, June 5th, 2018

May 30, 2018

Our very own Holger Behrsing, PhD, will be presenting at SIVB's Annual Meeting in St. Louis.  His presentation on Tuesday, June 5th is titled "Pragmatic Use of State-of-the-Art Lung Models to Evaluate Exposure-induced, Adverse Pulmonary Effects" and will provide an overview of in vitro/ex vivo pulmonary models and how they can be incorporated into a screening/testing strategy for chemicals that can include more complex human pulmonary adverse events that are evaluable in modern 3D systems. Read More

ASCCT Abstract Submission and Registration Now Open!

May 23, 2018

Registration is now open for the 7th Annual ASCCT Meeting - Predictive Toxicology: Strategies for Implementing New Approaches - being held September 11-12, 2018, at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. Learn More