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The EPAA Stem Cells Project

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Project aim

Since end 2008, EPAA has agreed to explore the opportunities that stem cells could play in developing novel approaches for the potential hazard characterization of chemicals and drugs.

A lot of research on stem cells is currently ongoing within the EU and wider area, but it is considered to be value in assessing how such work may fit into an overall strategy for evaluating safety without animal testing. This EPAA project aims at directing the stem cells research towards the industry needs for safety assessment.

In the opinion of the EPAA Platform on Science, the current research on the use of stem cells is suffering from a clear guidance to develop novel testing strategies for safety assessment. The identification of gaps in testing strategies is relevant in order to select the cell types of interest as well as the most appropriate readout to identify mode of actions. This is important for multiple sectors and therefore a good opportunity for EPAA to coordinate this activity.


Workgroups

Workgroup 1 on Fundamental research on Stem Cells

Workgroup 2 on Long term Toxicity

Project added value on 3Rs and priorities

  • establishing a permanent stem cell network which brings together experts from both sides (those working on alternatives and those working on basic research)
  • setting up a central unit monitoring the quality of the stem cells
  • focus on inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPSC)
  • an approach focusing on pathways instead of organs or cell types was preferred
  • first steps in analyzing the signal cascades of human iPSC should be performed with well-known compounds that address a well-defined pathway

Milestones

  • 28-29 April 2008 EPAA New perspectives on safety workshop (FlashReportpdf)
  • October 2009: Expert meeting on the future directions of stem cells research for safety testing
  • 4-5 October 2011: Stem cells and their derivatives in toxological research programs and as a possible regulatory tool – A gap analysis (FlashReportpdf)
  • 25 April 2013 EPAA Stem Cells Forum kickoff meeting (WG3) (FlashReportpdf)
  • 28-29 August 2013: Stem cell-derived organ-like models for analysis mid- and long-term dosing dynamics (FlashReportpdf)

Upcoming events

  • February 2014 (TBD): Stem Cells Forum international meeting (WG3)

 

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