The 4th Annual Meeting of the SEURAT-1 cluster, recently held in Barcelona (5-6 February 2014), was the largest so far, attracting more than 150 participants. With the collective aim of ultimately replacing in vivo repeated dose systemic toxicity testing with animal-free solutions, SEURAT-1 is the largest EU initiative ever undertaken on alternative methods to animal testing.
All the projects are well advanced in their work programmes and a wide variety of new methodologies and tools for mechanistic-based toxicology were unveiled at the meeting. Results on development of complex bioreactors, imaging human tissues, innovative 'omics' technics, differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells and modelling tools were presented. The launch of the public COSMOS database, a one-stop-repository of chronic toxicity data, was announced.
A main subject of the meeting was dedicated to the Proof-of-Concepts of the SEURAT-1 strategy, i.e. to develop complementary theoretical, computational and experimental (in vitro) models to predict toxicity in human and apply the predictions in safety assessment of chemicals.