Toxicity testing in animals has come under significant scientific and regulatory scrutiny in recent years. Animal tests often do not provide mechanistic information on how a drug or chemical causes toxic effects, and there is increasing focus on how to apply the latest science and technology to toxicological risk assessments to protect human health and the environment. The challenges are enormous not least because of sector- and geographic region-specific data requirements and a lack of harmonisation. A strategy which combines developing new testing paradigms as well as applying the 3Rs to existing regulatory frameworks to minimise animal use and suffering is essential and this forms the foundation of the NC3Rs approach.
Our approach includes the development of new models and tools through grant funding and CRACK IT, as well as Office-led expert-driven projects that embed the 3Rs in the existing regulatory framework. We work closely with pharmaceutical and chemical industries, regulatory bodies and academia.
Our bibliography lists the publications authored by NC3Rs staff as a result of these projects. We have launched a regular newsletter, Tox News, to keep the scientific community updated on our activities in this programme.