Incorporating new approach methodologies into regulatory nonclinical pharmaceutical safety assessment

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Jan Turner
Pandora Pound
Carla Owen
Isobel Hutchinson
Marina Hop
David Y. S. Chau
Lady V. Barrios Silva
Mike Coleman
Audrey Dubourg
Lorna W. Harries
Victoria Hutter
J. Gerry Kenna
Volker M. Lauschke
Winfried Neuhaus
Clive Roper
Paul B. Watkins
Jonathan Welch
Laura Rego Alvarez
Katy Taylor


New approach methodologies (NAMs) based on human biology enable the assessment of adverse biological effects of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals. Currently, however, it is unclear how NAMs should be used during drug development to improve human safety evaluation. A series of 5 workshops with 13 international experts (regulators, preclinical scientists, and NAMs developers) was conducted to identify feasible NAMs and to discuss how to exploit them in specific safety assessment contexts. Participants generated four “maps” of how NAMs can be exploited in the safety assessment of the liver, respiratory, cardiovascular, and central nervous systems. Each map shows relevant endpoints measured and tools used (e.g., cells, assays, platforms), and highlights gaps where further development and validation of NAMs remains necessary. Each map addresses the fundamental scientific requirements for the safety assessment of that organ system, providing users with guidance on the selection of appropriate NAMs. In addition to generating the maps, participants offered suggestions for encouraging greater NAM adoption within drug development and their inclusion in regulatory guidelines. A specific recommendation was that pharmaceutical companies should be more transparent about how they use NAMs in-house. As well as giving guidance for the four organ systems, the maps provide a template that could be used for additional organ safety testing contexts. Moreover, their conversion to an interactive format would enable users to drill down to the detail necessary to answer specific scientific and regulatory questions.

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Turner, J., Pound, P. ., Owen, C., Hutchinson, I., Hop, M., Chau, D. Y. S., Barrios Silva, L. V., Coleman, M., Dubourg, A., Harries, L. W., Hutter, V., Kenna, J. G., Lauschke, V. M., Neuhaus, W., Roper, C., Watkins, P. B., Welch, J., Alvarez, L. R. and Taylor, K. (2023) “Incorporating new approach methodologies into regulatory nonclinical pharmaceutical safety assessment”, ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, 40(3), pp. 519–533. doi: 10.14573/altex.2212081.
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