We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
EU-NETVAL is a large network of highly qualified test facilities across Europe, coordinated by the Joint Research Centre to support the in vitro method validation process.
The annual meeting of this network took place on the 10-11th October 2017 to facilitate the sharing of expertise and practical knowledge for the advancement of in vitro methods to improve safety assessment and avoid animal testing.
This two-day meeting was hosted by the JRC's European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) in Ispra (Italy). This year invited experts and in vitro method developers were brought together with EU-NETVAL members to share experiences and knowledge on specific in vitro methods for the detection of thyroid hormone disrupting chemicals.
This will support the newly launched validation study on in vitro methods for detecting thyroid disruptors, in which members of the EU-NETVAL test facilities are participating.
Experts were invited to host sessions addressing the practical management of test items and test systems, as well as exchanging information on the process of in-house validation (GIVIMP) and on the use of non-TG methods such as the miniaturised Ames assay.
These face-to-face knowledge sharing opportunities are essential for promoting the use of in vitro methods.
As a follow up to the 2016 meeting practical training sessions, which included in vitro methods for assessing the skin sensitisation potential of chemicals (DPRA, KeratinoSensTM/LuSens and h-CLAT OECD TG methods), EU-NETVAL members reported on their own experiences of using these methods.
Such feedback from the users of these methods is important for assessing the uptake of alternatives and for addressing potential issues for other users.
The EU-NETVAL network holds a wide range of expertise and competences and includes laboratories experienced in advanced in vitro procedures, biological test systems and measurement techniques which are considered important to address specific aims and objectives identified in EURL ECVAM's strategies to achieve impact in the Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement of animal testing (the 'three Rs') in different areas of regulatory safety assessment.