Mind the gaps: Prioritizing activities to meet regulatory needs for acute systemic lethality

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Kristie Sullivan
David G. Allen
Amy J. Clippinger
Daniel M. Wilson
Stephen W. Edwards
Kyle Glover
Kamel Mansouri
Raja Settivari
Sanjeeva J. Wijeyesakere
Warren Casey


Efforts are underway to develop and implement nonanimal approaches which can characterize acute systemic lethality. A workshop was held in October 2019 to discuss developments in the prediction of acute oral lethality for chemicals and mixtures, as well as progress and needs in the understanding and modeling of mechanisms of acute lethality. During the workshop, each speaker led the group through a series of charge questions to determine clear next steps to progress the aims of the workshop. Participants concluded that a variety of approaches will be needed and should be applied in a tiered fashion. Non-testing approaches, including waiving tests, computational models for single chemicals, and calculating the acute lethality of mixtures based on the LD50 values of mixture components, could be used for some assessments now, especially in the very toxic or non-toxic classification ranges. Agencies can develop policies indicating contexts under which mathematical approaches for mixtures assessment are acceptable; to expand applicability, poorly predicted mixtures should be examined to understand discrepancies and adapt the approach. Transparency and an understanding of the variability of in vivo approaches are crucial to facilitate regulatory application of new approaches. In a replacement strategy, mechanistically based in vitro or in silico models will be needed to support non-testing approaches especially for highly acutely toxic chemicals. The workshop discussed approaches that can be used in the immediate or near term for some applications and identified remaining actions needed to implement approaches to fully replace the use of animals for acute systemic toxicity testing.

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Sullivan, K., Allen, D. G., Clippinger, A. J., Wilson, D. M., Edwards, S. W., Glover, K., Mansouri, K., Settivari, R., Wijeyesakere, S. J. and Casey, W. (2021) “Mind the gaps: Prioritizing activities to meet regulatory needs for acute systemic lethality”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation. doi: 10.14573/altex.2012121.
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