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LATEST ISSUE

Volume 44, Issue 3 - July 2016

Horseshoe crab
Horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus), which is the source of blood for the LAL endotoxin test

First Thoughts on the Effects on the Protection of Laboratory Animals of the UK’s Departure from the European Union

Michael Balls

Directive 2010/63/EU led to improvements to the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986: it is hoped that these improvements will be maintained, and that special attention will be paid to the use of non-human primates and dogs
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News and Views

ATLA staff

Gender-specific Influenza Virus Studies In Vitro
Brain Organoids Used for Zika Research
Continuous Fish Cell Line
Mini Guts
Human Genetics Study of Bowel Cancer
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CAAT News and Views

CAAT staff

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Ends the Use of Live Pigs in Surgical Training
CAAT Courses included in Master of Science in Public Health
Pan-American Conference Brings Nearly 150 Attendees to Baltimore from the Americas and Around the Globe
CAAT Academy
New Approaches to Predict the Effects of Chemicals — Reportage from the ECHA’s Scientific Workshop
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IIVS News and Views

IIVS staff

IIVS Holds Webinar: Regulatory Initiatives for New Approaches to Traditional Toxicity Testing
IIVS Study Director Emilia Costin Presents at the Institute of Biochemistry of the Romanian Academy
Just Published: Workshop Proceedings from our December 2014 Respiratory Toxicology Workshop
Registration and Abstract Submission Open for ASCCT Annual Meeting
New Collaboration with M.A.C. Cosmetics

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The Use of In Vivo, Ex Vivo, In Vitro, Computational Models and Volunteer Studies in Vision Research and Therapy, and Their Contribution to the Three Rs

Robert D. Combes and Atul B. Shah

Much is known about mammalian vision, and considerable progress has been achieved in treating many vision disorders, especially those due to changes in the eye, by using various therapeutic methods, including stem cell and gene therapy. While cells and tissues from the main parts of the eye and the visual cortex (VC) can be maintained in culture, and many computer models exist, the current non-animal approaches are severely limiting in the study of visual perception and retinotopic imaging. Some of the early studies with cats and non-human primates (NHPs) are controversial for animal welfare reasons and are of questionable clinical relevance, particularly with respect to the treatment of amblyopia. More recently, the UK Home Office records have shown that attention is now more focused on rodents, especially the mouse. This is likely to be due to the perceived need for genetically-altered animals, rather than to knowledge of the similarities and differences of vision in cats, NHPs and rodents, and the fact that the same techniques can be used for all of the species. We discuss the advantages and limitations of animal and non-animal methods for vision research, and assess their relative contributions to basic knowledge and clinical practice, as well as outlining the opportunities they offer for implementing the principles of the Three Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement).

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More than 70 Years of Pyrogen Detection: Current State and Future Perspectives

Stefan Fennrich, Ulrike Hennig, Leila Toliashvili, Christian Schlensak, Hans Peter Wendel and Sandra Stoppelkamp

In the quality assurance of medical products, tests for sterility are essential. For parenteral pharmaceuticals, avoiding the presence of pyrogens is crucial. These fever-inducing substances (endotoxins and non-endotoxins) are not eliminated by standard sterilisation processes, and are biologically active once in the bloodstream, causing risks to human health, ranging from mild reactions (e.g. fever) to septic shock and death. Therefore, for injectable formulations, pyrogen testing is mandatory. Over the years, various pyrogen testing methods have been introduced, namely: in the 1940s, the rabbit pyrogen test, which is an in vivo test that measures the fever reaction as an endpoint; in the 1970s, the Limulus Amoebocyte Lysate (LAL) test, which is an in vitro test (with the haemolymph of the horseshoe crab) that specifically detects endotoxin; and in 2010, the Monocyte-Activation Test (MAT), which is a non-animal based in vitro pyrogen test that represents a full replacement of the rabbit test. Due to the ubiquity and biological significance of pyrogens, we are currently further developing the MAT so that it can be used for other applications. More specifically, our focus is on the detection of pyrogenic contamination on medical devices, as well as on the measurement of air quality. In addition, further improvements to permit the use of cryopreserved blood in the MAT, to overcome the limitations in the availability of freshly-drawn blood from human donors, are ongoing.

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Evaluation of Non-animal Methods for Assessing Skin Sensitisation Hazard: A Bayesian Value-of-Information Analysis

Leontaridou_suppl_info_FINAL

Maria Leontaridou, Silke Gabbert, Ekko C. Van Ierland, Andrew P. Worth and Robert Landsiedel

This paper offers a Bayesian Value-of-Information (VOI) analysis for guiding the development of non-animal testing strategies, balancing information gains from testing with the expected social gains and costs from the adoption of regulatory decisions. Testing is assumed to have value, if, and only if, the information revealed from testing triggers a welfare-improving decision on the use (or non-use) of a substance. As an illustration, our VOI model is applied to a set of five individual non-animal prediction methods used for skin sensitisation hazard assessment, seven battery combinations of these methods, and 236 sequential 2-test and 3-test strategies. Their expected values are quantified and compared to the expected value of the local lymph node assay (LLNA) as the animal method. We find that battery and sequential combinations of non-animal prediction methods reveal a significantly higher expected value than the LLNA. This holds for the entire range of prior beliefs. Furthermore, our results illustrate that the testing strategy with the highest expected value does not necessarily have to follow the order of key events in the sensitisation adverse outcome pathway (AOP).

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Exploring Waiving Opportunities for Mammalian Acute Systemic Toxicity Tests

Graepel EUSurvey

Rabea Graepel, David Asturiol, Pilar Prieto and Andrew P. Worth

A survey was carried out to explore opportunities for waiving mammalian acute systemic toxicity tests. We were interested in finding out whether data from a sub-acute toxicity test could be used to predict the outcome of an acute systemic toxicity test. The survey was directed at experts in the field of toxicity testing, and was carried out in the context of the upcoming 2018 final registration deadline for chemicals under the EU REACH Regulation. In addition to the survey, a retrospective data analysis of chemicals that had already been registered with the European Chemicals Agency, and for which both acute and sub-acute toxicity data were available, was carried out. This data analysis was focused on chemicals that were administered via the oral route. The answers to the questionnaire showed a willingness to adopt waiving opportunities. In addition, the responses showed that data from a sub-acute toxicity test or dose-range finding study might be useful for predicting chemicals that do not require classification for acute oral toxicity (LD50 > 2000mg/kg body weight). However, with the exception of substances that fall into the non-classified category, it is difficult to predict current acute oral toxicity categories.
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Local Tolerance Testing Under REACH: Accepted Non-animal Methods Are Not on Equal Footing with Animal Tests

Ursula G. Sauer, Erin H. Hill, Rodger D. Curren, Susanne N. Kolle, Wera Teubner, Annette Mehling and Robert Landsiedel

In general, no single non-animal method can cover the complexity of any given animal test. Therefore, fixed sets of in vitro (and in chemico) methods have been combined into testing strategies for skin and eye irritation and skin sensitisation testing, with pre-defined prediction models for substance classification. Many of these methods have been adopted as OECD test guidelines. Various testing strategies have been successfully validated in extensive in-house and inter-laboratory studies, but they have not yet received formal acceptance for substance classification. Therefore, under the European REACH Regulation, data from testing strategies can, in general, only be used in so-called weight-of-evidence approaches. While animal testing data generated under the specific REACH information requirements are per se sufficient, the sufficiency of weight-of-evidence approaches can be questioned under the REACH system, and further animal testing can be required. This constitutes an imbalance between the regulatory acceptance of data from approved non-animal methods and animal tests that is not justified on scientific grounds. To ensure that testing strategies for local tolerance testing truly serve to replace animal testing for the REACH registration 2018 deadline (when the majority of existing chemicals have to be registered), clarity on their regulatory acceptance as complete replacements is urgently required.

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