EU and Brazil strengthen international cooperation on alternatives to animal testing
|May 04, 2016|
European experts in alternative approaches to animal testing promote current and future collaborations with partners in Brazil
From the 5th to 8th April 2016, four representatives from the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) undertook a mission to promote alternative methods in Brazil, to share knowledge and experience on a variety of topics, and to explore opportunities for cooperation. The mission was organised in the context of the EU-Brazil Sector Dialogues Support Project on alternatives and was a follow-up to a very successful visit of a Brazilian delegation to the JRC in September 2015.
The EU delegation started its mission with a visit to the Brazilian Agriculture Research Corporation (EMBRAPA) and its Genetic Resources and Biotechnology Research Centre. This was followed by meetings at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) in Brasilia and participation in the EU-Brazil Sector Dialogues workshop "Innovation, Validation and Regulation: A Bilateral Perspective on Alternative Methods to Animal Use", hosted by MCTI. The workshop was very well attended and brought together experts from the European Union, the Brazilian National Council for the Control of Animal Experimentation (CONCEA), the Brazilian National Alternative Methods Network (RENAMA) and the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA), as well as various stakeholders from industry, non-governmental organisations and academia who are active in the alternatives arena.
The group explored topics ranging from the current trends in the development of alternative methods and how to stimulate and support research in this area, to the different approaches to method validation and the use of integrated approaches to testing and assessment (IATA) in regulatory decision making. Emphasising the importance of international harmonisation and the regulatory acceptance of alternative approaches to animal testing, discussions also touched on how to promote training activities for both testing facilities and regulatory agencies. Prof. Maurice Whelan, Head of the Systems Toxicology Unit and EURL ECVAM at the JRC, conveyed the importance of the event saying that "This is an area of high scientific and political interest in both the EU and Brazil and these exchanges in the framework of the EU-Brazil Sector Dialogues provide a great opportunity to discuss and promote current and future collaborative initiatives." More information (in Portuguese) can be found by following this link.
As part of the intense schedule, the delegation also visited the three central laboratories of RENAMA, starting with a visit of the Brazilian Biosciences National Laboratory (LNBio/CNPEM) in Campinas before leading a public workshop in Rio de Janeiro, which was hosted by the National Institute of Health Quality Control (INCQS) and co-organised by INCQS and the National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (INMETRO). This second workshop focused on recent developments in the science, validation and acceptance of alternative methods. More information (in Portuguese) can be found by following this link.
Rio de Janeiro, INCQS
EURL ECVAM will continue to work closely with Brazil through the International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods (ICATM). This partnership foresees intensified communication and collaboration during the planning and execution of validation studies on alternative methods, during peer review of these studies and with respect to the development of harmonised test method recommendations for global regulatory use.