ATLA 32.5, November 2004

//ATLA 32.5, November 2004

A Modular Approach to the ECVAM Principles on Test Validity

Thomas Hartung, Susanne Bremer, Silvia Casati, Sandra Coecke, Raffaella Corvi, Salvador Fortaner, Laura Gribaldo, Marlies Halder, Sebastian Hoffmann, Annett Janusch Roi, Pilar Prieto, Enrico Sabbioni, Laurie Scott, Andrew Worth and Valérie Zuang

The European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) proposes to make the validation process more flexible, while maintaining its high standards. The various aspects of validation are broken down into independent modules, and the information necessary to complete each module is defined. The data required to assess test validity in an independent peer review, not the process, are thus emphasised. Once the information to satisfy all the modules is complete, the test can enter the peer-review process. In this way, the between-laboratory variability and predictive capacity of a test can be assessed independently. Thinking in terms of validity principles will broaden the applicability of the validation process to a variety of tests and procedures, including the generation of new tests, new technologies (for example, genomics, proteomics), computer-based models (for example, quantitative structure–activity relationship models), and expert systems. This proposal also aims to take into account existing information, defining this as retrospective validation, in contrast to a prospective validation study, which has been the predominant approach to date. This will permit the assessment of test validity by completing the missing information via the relevant validation procedure: prospective validation, retrospective validation, catch-up validation, or a combination of these procedures.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.

Scientific Procedures on Living Animals in Great Britain in 2003: The Facts, Figures and Consequences

Michelle Hudson and Nirmala Bhogal

The statistics for animal procedures performed in 2003 were recently released by the Home Office. They indicate that, for the second year running, there was a significant increase in the number of laboratory animal procedures undertaken in Great Britain. The species and genera used, the numbers of toxicology and non-toxicology procedures, and the overall trends, are described. The implications of these latest statistics are discussed with reference to key areas of interest and to the impact of existing regulations and pending legislative reforms.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.

Development and Prevalidation of a List of Structure–Activity Relationship Rules to be Used in Expert Systems for Prediction of the Skin-sensitising Properties of Chemicals

Ingrid Gerner, Martin D. Barratt, Stephan Zinke, Kerstin Schlegel and Eva Schlede

The new European Union (EU) chemicals policy, as described in the White Paper entitled Strategy for a Future Chemicals Policy, has identified a need for computer-based tools suitable for predicting the hazardous properties of chemicals. Two sets of structural alerts (fragments of chemical structure) for the prediction of skin sensitisation hazard classification (“R43, may cause sensitisation by skin contact”) have been drawn up, based on sensitising chemicals from a regulatory database (containing data for the EU notification of new chemicals). These alerts comprise 15 rules for chemical structures deemed to be sensitising by direct action of the chemicals with cells or proteins within the skin, and three rules for substructures
that act indirectly, i.e. requiring chemical or biochemical transformation. The predictivity rates of the rules were found to be good (positive predictivity, 88%; false-positive rate, 1%; specificity, 99%; negative predictivity, 74%; false-negative rate, 80%; sensitivity, 20%). Because of the confidential nature of the regulatory database, the rules are supported by examples of sensitising chemicals taken from the “Allergenliste” now held by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the DEREK for Windows expert system. The rules were prevalidated against data not used for their development. As a result of the prevalidation study, it is proposed that the two sets of structural alerts should be taken forward for formal validation, with a view to incorporating them into regulatory guidelines.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.

Structure–Activity Relationships and Prediction of the Phototoxicity and Phototoxic Potential of New Drugs

Martin D. Barratt

Relationships between the structure and properties of chemicals can be programmed into knowledge-based systems such as DEREK for Windows (DEREK is an acronym for “Deductive Estimation of Risk from Existing Knowledge”). The DEREK for Windows computer system contains a subset of over 60 rules describing chemical substructures (toxophores) responsible for skin sensitisation. As part of the European Phototox Project, the rule base was supplemented by a number of rules for the prospective identification of photoallergens, either by extension of the scope of existing rules or by the generation of new rules where a sound mechanistic rationale for the biological activity could be established. The scope of the rules for photoallergenicity was then further refined by assessment against a list of chemicals identified as photosensitisers by the Centro de Farmacovigilancia de la Comunidad Valenciana, Valencia, Spain. This paper contains an analysis of the mechanistic bases of activity for eight important groups of photoallergens and phototoxins, together with rules for the prospective identification of the photobiological activity of new or untested chemicals belonging to those classes. The mechanism of action of one additional chemical, nitrofurantoin, is well established; however, it was deemed inappropriate to write a rule on the basis of a single chemical structure.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.

Expanding the Three Rs to Meet New Challenges in Humane Animal Experimentation

Catherine A. Schuppli, David Fraser and Michael McDonald

The Three Rs are the main principles used by Animal Ethics Committees in the governance of animal experimentation, but they appear not to cover some ethical issues that arise today. These include: a) claims that certain species should be exempted on principle from harmful research; b) increased emphasis on enhancing quality of life of research animals; c) research involving genetically modified (GM) animals; and d) animals bred as models of disease. In some cases, the Three Rs can be extended to cover these developments. The burgeoning use of GM animals in science calls for new forms of reduction through improved genetic modification technology, plus continued attention to alternative approaches and cost–benefit analyses that include the large numbers of animals involved indirectly. The adoption of more expanded definitions of refinement that go beyond minimising distress will capture concerns for enhancing the quality of life of animals through improved husbandry and handling. Targeting refinement to the unpredictable effects of gene modification may be difficult; in these cases, careful attention to monitoring and endpoints are the obvious options. Refinement can also include sharing data about the welfare impacts of gene modifications, and modelling earlier stages of disease, in order to reduce the potential suffering caused to disease models. Other issues may require a move beyond the Three Rs. Certain levels of harm, or numbers and use of certain species, may be unacceptable, regardless of potential benefits. This can be addressed by supplementing the utilitarian basis of the Three Rs with principles based on deontological and relational ethics. The Three Rs remain very useful, but they require thoughtful interpretation and expansion in order for Animal Ethics Committees to address the full range of issues in animal-based research.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.

Conference Report

Ulpiano Pérez

Congresso COBEA 2004 (The 5th International Congress on Laboratory Animal Science, 9th Brazilian Congress on Laboratory Animal Science and 4th Meeting of Mercosur Researchers), together with the 4th South American Veterinary Conference, was held at the Rio Centro Convention Centre, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 26–29 August 2004.
You need to register (for free) to download this article. Please log in/register here.
2017-01-09T06:33:18+00:00 Tags: |