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Despite changing attitudes towards animal testing and current legislation to protect experimental animals, the rate of animal experiments seems to have changed little in recent years. On May 15-16, 2013, the In Vitro Testing Industrial Platform (IVTIP) held an open meeting to discuss the state of the art in alternative methods, how companies have, can and will need to adapt and what drives and hinders regulatory acceptance and use. Several important points arose from the meeting. First, industry and regulatory bodies should not wait for complete suites of alternative tests to become available, but should begin working with methods available right now (e.g., mining of existing animal data to direct future studies, implementation of alternative tests wherever scientifically valid rather than continuing to rely on animal tests) in non-animal and animal integrated strategies to reduce the numbers of animals tested. Second, sharing of information (communication), harmonization and standardization (coordination), commitment and collaboration are all required to improve the quality and speed of validation, acceptance and implementation of tests. Finally, how alternative methods can be used in research and development before formal implementation in regulations should be considered. Here we present the conclusions on what can be done already and suggest some solutions and strategies for the future.
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