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NC3Rs | 20 Years: Pioneering Better Science

Tox News: Issue 11, September 2022

Tox News is an e-newsletter sharing the latest news from the NC3Rs Toxicology and Regulatory Sciences programme.

If you would like to subscribe to Tox News, send us an email to request that we add you to our mailing list.

Tox Team welcomes Dr Elisa Passini

Dr Elisa Passini has recently joined the Tox Team as Programme Manager for Drug Development. Her focus will be on current 3Rs challenges and opportunities in pharmaceutical development, in collaboration with the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI). Elisa was previously a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford working on the integration of computer modelling and simulation of the human heart in safety pharmacology, and is a previous winner of the NC3Rs International 3Rs Prize (in 2017).

Register for our upcoming webinar on "Microsampling in Toxicology: Maximising the scientific, business and 3Rs advantages"

Thursday 15 September, 14.00 – 16.00 (BST)

Originally a session at the BTS 2022 Congress, this free-to-access webinar aims to raise awareness of the microsampling technique and encourage wider adoption across both discovery and regulatory toxicology studies.

Key objectives are to:

  • Showcase how microsampling is currently being used within pharmaceutical and agrochemical safety assessment toxicology studies, across different species and study types.

  • Address current barriers to the adoption of microsampling for more studies.

  • Provide real-life examples of how companies are successfully using microsampling to reduce and refine animal use, and discuss future directions.

This webinar is relevant for all academic, regulatory and industry scientists interested in applying the 3Rs in rodent and non-rodent studies. There will be a panel discussion at the end of the webinar, with an opportunity for audience members to ask questions.

Presentation recordings now available from our recent webinar on "Developments and future directions in regulatory fish acute toxicity testing"

We hosted a webinar in June to showcase initiatives that replace, reduce or refine fish acute toxicity studies. The webinar featured presentations on approaches to support replacement of the use of late life stage animals, and a retrospective data analysis project to identify potential reductions in regulatory fish testing:

  • Overview of NC3Rs activities to support the 3Rs in fish acute toxicity testing (Dr Natalie Burden, NC3Rs).

  • Exploring potential reductions in fish testing in a regulatory context (Dr Michael Lowit, US Environmental Protection Agency, EPA).

  • New OECD Test Guideline 249 Fish Cell Line Acute Toxicity – The RTgill-W1 cell line assay (Dr Melanie Fischer, Eawag, and Dr Stephan Fischer, aQuatox-Solutions).

  • SWIFT: Strengthening weight of evidence for FET data to replace acute fish toxicity (Dr Adam Lillicrap, NIVA).

Promoting the 3Rs internationally: upcoming events

On Monday 19 September, Natalie will be speaking at an educational workshop, Cosmetic Regulation and Safety Assessment Update, ahead of the opening of The International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC) Annual Congress 2022 in London. This talk is entitled Introduction to animal testing bans: UK initiatives and the challenges of New Approach Methodologies uptake.

A poster co-authored by Fiona will be presented on Tuesday 20 September at the XVIth International Congress of Toxicology in Maastricht, the Netherlands (running 18-21 September). The poster (ID 567 / P21-18) is entitled New data supporting recognition of evident toxicity in acute oral toxicity studies (OECD TG 420).

Session 23 on Wednesday 21 September, Agrochemical Evaluation for the 21st Century: Achieving the Vision, will discuss the work of the Transforming the Evaluation of Agrochemicals HESI technical committee, of which Fiona is a member. More details on this project can be found in our most recent publication in Pest Management Science (see details in the Publications section below).

Natalie will be presenting at the 13th International Akademie Fresenius Conference "Endocrine Disruptors" in Cologne, Germany, taking place on 8 and 9 November. Her talk on Assessment of methodological issues related to VTG measurements in fish will be on Wednesday 9 November at 12.35 (CET).

Helen and Elisa will attend the ACT 43rd Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, 13–16 November. Helen has organised and will co-chair a workshop on Chronic Toxicity Study Designs: Exploring Greater Flexibility for Appropriate Dosing Duration, Recovery Groups, and Species Selection to Support Human Safety Assessment While Balancing 3Rs Considerations on Tuesday 14 November, 14.00 – 16.00. This will include a presentation from Helen on Inclusion of Recovery Animals: Opportunity for Further Optimization Remains, as well as presentations from the IQ-DruSafe chronic toxicity predictivity project and the EPAA/MEB/NC3Rs project on optimal duration of chronic studies for mAbs. We will also have a booth in the exhibition hall (#813) – please come and see us if you are attending!

2022 CRACK IT Challenges

The CRACK IT Innovation Platform has launched two new Challenges for 2022 focused on developing products and services delivering scientific and 3Rs benefits. One of the Challenges, Thyroid Tox, covers the key area of animal use in endocrine disruption.

Join the webinar on Wednesday 7 September to learn more about the competition, ask the Sponsors questions and find out how to submit a competitive application.

Vacancy: NC3Rs Board members

Are you interested in supporting and shaping the future direction of the NC3Rs? We are currently recruiting for new members to join our Board from 1 January 2023. One of the new Board members will also be appointed as Chair of the CRACK IT Advisory Panel.

Application deadline: Thursday 8 September.

Non-animal technologies funding call: Application form

We are collaborating with BBSRC to fund the development and use of next generation non-animal technologies in bioscience research as alternatives to in vivo models. The application form is now available on Je-S. More information on the scope of the call, eligibility criteria and application process is available on our funding pages, along with a recording of the applicants webinar for those interested in applying.

Application deadline: Thursday 8 September.

Recent Tox Team publication

A list of all NC3Rs publications in Toxicology and Regulatory Sciences can be found in our bibliography.

  • Wolf D, Bhuller Y, Cope R, Corvaro M, Currie R, Doe J, Doi A, Hilton G, Mehta J, Saltmiras D, Sewell F, Trainer M, Déglin S (2022). Transforming the Evaluation of Agrochemicals. Pest Management Science, in press. doi: 10.1002/ps.7148