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NC3Rs | 20 Years: Pioneering Better Science

Latest news from the NC3Rs: January 2022

CRACK IT: Call for 2022 Challenges

Do you have a great idea to drive innovation in research and development and have a real-world impact on the 3Rs?

We are now inviting potential Sponsors to submit new CRACK IT Challenges for the 2022 competition. As a Sponsor, your organisation will set a scientific challenge to develop a product that solves an unmet need in bioscience using 3Rs approaches, providing funding or in-kind support. In return, you will be able to provide early end user input and receive access to the new technologies developed through your Challenge.

The deadline for new Challenge submissions is Monday 28 February.

Celebrating 100 publications from our toxicology and regulatory sciences programme

Our Tox Team works with industrial partners, regulatory bodies and academics to embed the 3Rs in toxicology and regulatory sciences. They recently passed the milestone of 100 papers published, which we highlighted via a Twitter thread that includes details on the publications, their impacts and resources related to this programme of work.

Interested in joining our Tox Team?

We are currently recruiting a Programme Manager to lead our work applying the 3Rs throughout the drug discovery and development process, including efficacy, pharmacology and toxicology studies. The role will involve initiating, leading and delivering 3Rs programmes of work in collaboration with national and international partners from academic organisations, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, contract research organisations and regulatory bodies.

£400k awarded to deliver Phase 1 of the 2021 CRACK IT Challenges

Four teams have been awarded funding to carry out Phase 1 proof-of-concept studies for the 2021 CRACK IT Challenges competition. The two Challenges both seek to achieve 3Rs impacts within toxicology: Virtual Second Species involves applying advanced modelling approaches to develop virtual dog tissues for testing new medicines, while Innovative Safety Assessment of Fish adverse Effects (SAFE) aims to develop scalable bioassays that can replace in vivo fish studies in safety assessment.

£2.4M awarded for Phase 2 of the 2020 CRACK IT Challenges competition

Three teams have each been awarded funding to deliver the second phase of three of the 2020 CRACK Challenges. Having previously carried out proof-of-concept studies during Phase 1, the teams will now develop tools to deliver a high-throughput human in vitro t-cell dependent antibody response assay, non-animal-derived in vitro assays for chemical testing, and a 3D model of skeletal muscle injury for screening regenerative therapeutics.

Looking back at ten years of CRACK IT

Throughout 2021 we celebrated a decade of our CRACK IT open innovation programme with a series of webinars showcasing 3Rs products developed through CRACK IT funding, how they can be applied and the scientific, business and animal welfare benefits they deliver. To wrap up this year of celebrations, we have produced a video featuring clips from speakers throughout the year on their experiences of working with CRACK IT.

Explore our konfer platform and find new opportunities to collaborate

We have teamed up with konfer to provide small companies and academic researchers with a platform to showcase their 3Rs tools and technologies to over 130,000 academics and 27,000 businesses across the UK. We are currently showcasing the following projects, which you can get involved in by connecting via konfer:

eGUT – a computational modelling platform for gut researchers

Predicting drug abuse potential without animals

High-content in vivo toxicology testing using C. elegans

IVF Micro – in vitro microfluidic embryo culture

If you have a 3Rs model you want to develop further, validate or share, email us at find out how we can help you find new collaborators.

Start the new year with better experimental design

The next virtual demonstrations of our Experimental Design Assistant tool will take place on Thursday 27 January and Wednesday 30 March with limited spaces allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. During the sessions Dr Esther Pearl (NC3Rs) will show how the EDA can help researchers at any level design robust in vivo experiments that are more likely to give reproducible results, as well as answer any questions you may have. Highlighted features will include our new guidance on using both sexes in studies.

Workshop: increasing confidence in New Approach Methodologies for regulatory decision-making

Wednesday 23–Thursday 24 February

In collaboration with the British Toxicology Society and the Health and Safety Executive’s Chemicals Regulation Division, the NC3Rs is hosting a two-day virtual workshop to raise awareness of new approach methodologies (NAMs). The workshop will explore how regulatory application and acceptance of these tools can be increased by overcoming the most significant barriers to their implementation. It will be relevant for academic, regulatory and industry scientists with an interest in the development and application of NAMs.

Workshop: help us understand the impact of the 3Rs on biologicals testing in Europe

Wednesday 2 March, 10am–3.30pm (GMT)

We are hosting a workshop to better understand how the wider integration of 3Rs approaches within WHO guidelines will impact the quality control and batch release testing of biologicals. This workshop will focus on biologicals manufacturers and regulators in Europe; future workshops will focus on other regions globally. The outcomes will inform our project with the WHO to review the animal use requirements within their guidelines.

Systematic Review Facility (SyRF) workshop: How to conduct a preclinical animal systematic review and meta-analysis

Monday 28 February–Wednesday 2 March, 9am–1pm

Through a combination of lectures, practical activities and tutorials, this online workshop will focus on the major steps required to undertake a systematic review and meta-analysis of preclinical animal studies using the SyRF online platform. It will be delivered over three half days by the CAMARADES group and is free to attend for all researchers. The workshop will be particularly useful to those who have never undertaken a systematic review – limited spaces are available, so please register in advance.

Contribute your manuscript to a Frontiers Research Topic on the 3Rs

Supported by 3Rs centres across Europe, the publisher Frontiers is compiling a Research Topic that will provide a multidisciplinary review of current 3Rs research. Abstract submission across a range of subjects is open until Sunday 29 May – relevant topics include computational modelling via machine learning and artificial intelligence, reduction of animal use in cancer and neuroscience, and laboratory animal welfare.

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