reproductive toxicity

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ESNATS Conference — The Use of Human Embryonic Stem Cells for Novel Toxicity Testing Approaches

Costanza Rovida, Manon Vivier, Bernward Garthoff and Jürgen Hescheler

The main achievements and results of the ESNATS project (Embryonic Stem Cell-based Novel Alternative Testing Strategies) were presented at the final project conference that was held on 15 September 2013, the day before the traditional EUSAAT (European Society for Alternatives to Animal Testing) Congress in Linz, Austria. The ESNATS project was an FP7 European Integrated Project, running from 2008 to 2013, the aim of which was to develop a novel toxicity testing platform based on embryonic stem cells (ESCs), and in particular, human ESC (hESCs), to accelerate drug development, reduce related R&D costs, and propose a powerful alternative to animal tests in the spirit of the Three Rs principles. Altogether, ESNATS offered the first proof of concept that hESCs can be used to create robust, reproducible and ready-to use test assays for predicting human toxicity. In the end, essentially five test systems were developed to an adequate level for entering possible pre-validation procedures. These methods are based on hESCs, and can be combined to study the possible effects, on the human embryo, of exposure to a chemical during the early stages of development. In addition to the presentations by the main project partners, external speakers were invited to give lectures on relevant topics, both in the field of neurotoxicity and, more generally, on the applicability of hESCs in the development of advanced in vitro tests.

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Integrated Decision-tree Testing Strategies for Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity with Respect to the Requirements of the EU REACH Legislation

Christina Grindon, Robert Combes, Mark T.D. Cronin, David W. Roberts and John F. Garrod

Liverpool John Moores University and FRAME conducted a research project, sponsored by Defra, on the status of alternatives to animal testing with regard to the European Union REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) system for the safety testing and risk assessment of chemicals. The project covered all the main toxicity endpoints associated with the REACH system. This paper focuses on the prospects for the use of alternative methods (both in vitro and in silico) in developmental and reproductive toxicity testing. It considers many tests based on primary cells and cell lines, and the available expert systems and QSARs for developmental and reproductive toxicity, and also covers tests for endocrine disruption. Ways in which reduction and refinement measures can be used are also discussed, particularly the use of an enhanced one-generation reproductive study, which could potentially replace the two-generation study, and therefore considerably reduce the number of animals required in reproductive toxicity. Decision-tree style integrated testing strategies are also proposed for developmental and reproductive toxicity and for endocrine disruption, followed by a number of recommendations for the future facilitation of developmental and reproductive toxicity testing, with respect to human risk assessment.
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Integrated Decision-tree Testing Strategies for Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity with Respect to the Requirements of the EU REACH Legislation

Christina Grindon, Robert Combes, Mark T.D. Cronin, David W. Roberts and John F. Garrod

Liverpool John Moores University and FRAME conducted a research project, sponsored by Defra, on the status of alternatives to animal testing with regard to the European Union REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) system for the safety testing and risk assessment of chemicals. The project covered all the main toxicity endpoints associated with the REACH system. This paper focuses on the prospects for the use of alternative methods (both in vitro and in silico) in developmental and reproductive toxicity testing. It considers many tests based on primary cells and cell lines, and the available expert systems and QSARs for developmental and reproductive toxicity, and also covers tests for endocrine disruption. Ways in which reduction and refinement measures can be used are also discussed, particularly the use of an enhanced one-generation reproductive study, which could potentially replace the two-generation study, and therefore considerably reduce the number of animals required in reproductive toxicity. Decision-tree style integrated testing strategies are also proposed for developmental and reproductive toxicity and for endocrine disruption, followed by a number of recommendations for the future facilitation of developmental and reproductive toxicity testing, with respect to human risk assessment.
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The Way Forward for Reproductive/Developmental Toxicity

Michael Balls et al

I was somewhat surprised when I saw Mary Moxon’s Guest Editorial, “Developmental and reproductive toxicity testing: a potted history”, in Lab Animal Europe earlier this year.1 Contrary to what I had read and heard repeatedly over several years, she clearly believed that laboratory animal tests are a sound basis for human risk assessment and will continue to be used “to protect our future generations”.
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A FRAME Response to the European Commission Consultation on the Draft Report on Alternative (Non-animal) Methods for Cosmetics Testing: Current Status and Future Prospects — 2010a

Michael Balls and Richard Clothier

This response on behalf of FRAME to the European Commission’s consultation on the five chapters of the Draft Report on Alternative (Non-animal) Methods for Cosmetics Testing: Current Status and Future Prospects — 2010, is via a Comment in ATLA, rather than via the template supplied by the Commission. This is principally so that a number of general points about cosmetic ingredient testing can be made. It is concluded that the five draft chapters do not provide a credible basis for the Commission’s forthcoming report to the European Parliament and the European Council on the five cosmetic ingredient safety issues for which the 7th Amendment to the Cosmetic Directive’s ban on animal testing was postponed until 2013. This is mainly because there is insufficient focus in the draft chapters on the specific nature of cosmetic ingredients, their uses, their local effects and metabolism at their sites of application, and, in particular, on whether their possible absorption into the body would be likely to lead to their accumulation in target sites at levels approaching Thresholds of Toxicological Concern. Meanwhile, there continues to be uncertainty about how the provisions of the Cosmetics Directive should be applied, given the requirements of the REACH system and directives concerned with the safety of other chemicals and products.
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