The European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) has issued its 2018 “Status Report on the Development, Validation and Regulatory Acceptance of Alternative Methods and Approaches.” The status report describes research, development, and validation activities, as well as initiatives that promote the regulatory and international adoption and use of alternative approaches and their dissemination. Key findings include:
- Significant progress has been made in combining in vitro and computational methods to 'read-across' toxicological properties between similar chemicals to avoid unnecessary animal testing.
- There is increased use of alternatives to identify endocrine disruptors and assess chemical mixtures.
- Challenges still prevent the use of alternatives alone to fully characterize complex toxicological properties of chemicals that cause chronic systemic health effects.
EURL ECVAM, which is part of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, coordinates research and validation studies on alternatives to animal testing within the European Union. EURL ECVAM also shares knowledge about and promotes use of alternative methods.
A link to the report and an interview with two of its authors are available at https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/finding-alternatives-animal-testing-going-win-win-win. More information about EURL ECVAM is available at https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/eurl/ecvam.