“Strong international cooperation is the future of alternatives to animal testing”
‐ Memorandum of Understanding with US‐based Institute for In Vitro Sciences signed
‐ Researcher from Germany‐based Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research awarded with the 3Rs Science Award 2012
16th November 2012, Brussels Centre de Conferences Albert Borschette: Today, the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) organized its 8th Annual Conference in Brussels. EPAA is a unique collaboration between five EU Commission services and seven industry sectors ‐ animal health, chemicals, cosmetics, crop protection, fragrances, pharmaceuticals, soaps & detergents. Finding future alternatives to animal testing and ensuring their use in regulatory contexts will require stronger and greater international cooperation, delegates at the Annual European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) conference in Brussels heard today. Speaking at the conference, DG Enterprise and Industry’s Deputy Director General, Antti Peltomäki – speaking on behalf of European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani ‐ stressed that while Europe has pioneered efforts in the 3Rs of replacing, reducing and refining animal testing, further progress for the sustainable development of innovative products worldwide lies in strengthened international cooperation.
DG Enterprise and Industry’s Director and EPAA Commission Co‐Chair, Gwenole Cozigou, echoed these remarks, concluding that 2012 has been a turning point for the EPAA. While EPAA remains committed to and works on promoting alternative approaches in Europe, it has to be ready for the global stage, and will also work towards developing synergies with other regions. In her keynote presentation, Dr Julia Scheel, EPAA’s Industry Co‐Chair, highlighted the relevance of international cooperation from an industry perspective, as reflected in EPAA’s 2012 lead theme. She reported on a number of promising activities developed or launched during 2012, such as reducing animal numbers in vaccines batch testing and advancing 3Rs in other dedicated areas of regulatory toxicology including carcinogenicity and skin sensitization.
Marking this commitment to international cooperation, the EPAA Co‐chairs signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the US based Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS) President Rodger Curren. EPAA and IIVS have agreed to establish a strategic partnership dedicated to the international dissemination of alternative techniques for safety evaluation. EPAA will provide sponsorship of up to €100,000 over the next two years to IIVS to support training activities in key regions, including China and Brazil. R. Curren stated that “EPAA’s efforts to promote international cooperation on 3Rs will be greatly complemented by our joint activities and solid international network.”
The conference which attracted around 150 delegates, also heard from the US Food and Drug Administration, the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration, the OECD and European Chemicals Agency. Speakers highlighted both the potential benefits as well as the main challenges arising from implementing increased collaboration on the 3Rs. EPAA also honoured Dr Nils Klüver from the German‐based Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research with the annual 3Rs Science Award for 2012, for his project “Systematic approach to investigate outliers of the fish embryo test to increase its predictive capacity and applicability domain for acute fish toxicity and beyond”. Dr Klüver will now further develop his method in collaboration with EPAA partners, thanks to a €100,000 grant.
The European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) is a joint initiative from the European Commission, European trade associations from seven industry sectors and individual companies (see partners here). It was launched in November 2005 with the purpose to promote the development and implementation of new 3Rs methods (replace, reduce, refine) in the field of safety testing. For further information on the EPAA or its projects
The Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Inc. is a non‐profit research and testing laboratory dedicated to the advancement of in vitro (non‐animal) methods worldwide. Founded in 1997, IIVS has worked with industry, academic laboratories and government agencies to implement in vitro testing strategies that limit animal use while supplying key information for product safety and efficacy decisions. For further information on IIVS and its programs