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.
JRC scientists have contributed to the editing and writing of a book on the history of alternative methods in toxicology and chemical safety assessment.
The book presents historical perspectives on the development, validation, acceptance and use of alternatives to animal testing over the past half-century, with an emphasis on humanity and good science, in line with the Three Rs (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement of animal procedures).
The annual conference of the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) took place on 20 November 2018 in Brussels. The event showcased recent EPAA achievements and included an expert panel session, with the participation of the JRC, that discussed how new types of safety data derived from alternative methods can be exploited in regulatory decision making.
JRC scientists are part of an international initiative developing principles and protocols for the consistent use of computational models in chemical safety assessment to promote greater acceptance in regulatory applications.
The In Silico Toxicology (IST) Protocol initiative is focusing on how results from computational methods should be generated, interpreted, assessed and documented with a view to increasing confidence in their use.
JRC contributed to research carried out by Italian research organisations in Pavia and Milan. This work demonstrated that new 3D in vitro cell based models can be applied to assess the neurotoxicity of magnetite nanoparticles. 3D cultures may represent good "near-to-in-vivo" models leading to better interpretation of toxicological effects to humans.
Highlights of the JRC work presented include using Adverse Outcome Pathways to guide in vitro method development, the recently published OECD guidance on good in vitro method practices, results of an international survey on validating complex in vitro models, and an update of the JRC validation study of in vitro methods for identifying thyroid disrupters.
JRC scientists have contributed to the revision of OECD Guidance Document 23 "Aqueous-Phase Aquatic Toxicity Testing of Difficult Test Chemicals" that addresses good practices to be applied in aquatic toxicity testing.
The JRC has worked with five EU funded research consortia, EC department for Research and Innovation, the European Environment Agency and the European Food Safety Authority to produce a paper which identifies research and policy needs to deal with the assessment and management of potential risks posed by chemical mixtures to human health and the environment.
The JRC's EU Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM) has launched a second call for tender to review alternative methods and models being used for research in the areas of Cardiovascular diseases, Breast Cancer, Immunogenicity testing for advanced therapy medicinal products, Autoimmune diseases an
JRC scientists collected and analysed mechanistic information on the effects of chemicals on eight organs identified as relevant for acute systemic toxicity in humans. The ultimate aim is the replacement of the use of animals in the regulatory assessment of acute oral toxicity.
This knowledge is expected to support the development and application of adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) and mechanistically relevant new approach assessment methodologies.
JRC scientists contributed to a review of the state-of-the-science on available mechanisms and assays to assess acute inhalation toxicity with a focus on non-animal testing approaches.
Scientists from the JRC's EU Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) joined a working group, together with other international experts, to assess acute inhalation toxicity. They discussed how existing knowledge can be used to design effective non-animal testing approaches.