EU Science Hub

DB-ALM Report, 2016

This deliverable report outlines the activities performed during January 2014-June 2016 for the DB-ALM (EURL ECVAM DataBase service on advanced and Alternative Methods) enhancements regarding: information content, system evolution and innovation, as well as enlarging its outreach. In October 2014, the first version of the entirely innovated and revised DB-ALM was publicly launched that provoked several positive reactions at International conferences. Completion is foreseen in 2017, progressively phasing out the previous version data sector by data sector. Several initiatives have been taken to ensure the state-of-the-art for both the scientific content and technological development. The online information content is continuously updated with current emphasis on the methods originating from EU funded research projects and/or undergoing validation studies towards international acceptance. The online information content covers today: 325 method descriptions (168 Summaries and 157 Protocols) linked to 82 method evaluations with 3017 test compounds, 9231 results, and experts` contact details. Further development refers particularly to the innovation of the content management system in addition to the public DB-ALM internet version. The Method Summary is the main data sector of the DB-ALM, providing the key-features of the comprehensively described methods, with regularly updated conent and revised nomenclature. This ensures a harmonised framework for adequately describing alternative methods in an OECD accepted format, robust and flexible for various types of alternative approaches to testing of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical devices or biologicals. A further consolidation and growing interest in the DB-ALM was observed with a steady increasing user community and usage, amounting to a total of nearly 5,000 individual registrations from 82 countries, as well as an enhanced usage with over 40,000 accesses to the DB-ALM through the internet during the last calendar year. DB-ALM is, for example, referenced in OECD Test Guidelines and Guidance documents; scientific books and cited in scientific article, in addition to website references of relevant international organisations in and outside of Europe. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) suggests the DB-ALM as useful information source on in vitro methods to be considered for REACH registration purposes and the OECD recommended further the use of the DB-ALM for the storage and dissemination of method descriptions compliant with the new Guidance Document for describing non-guideline in vitro test methods GD 211.