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JRC database now provides non-guideline in vitro test methods in OECD compliant format

News details
Aug 18, 2015

The JRC's European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternative Methods to Animal Testing (EURL ECVAM) has adapted the format of DB-ALM, its unique public database on alternative methods, to fully comply with the OECD guidance for describing non-guideline in vitro test methods.

JRC / EURL ECVAM scientists were important contributors to the formulation of Guidance Document No.211 which was released by the OECD last December 2014. The guidance was motivated by a growing awareness within the scientific and regulatory communities that data derived from in vitro methods (e.g. mechanistic information) can have considerable value in supporting chemical safety assessment even in cases where the in vitro method is not included within an OECD Test Guideline or has not been formally validated, provided the method is properly described in terms of its scientific/technical basis and its reliability and relevance.

Making such method descriptions readily available via the widely accessed DB-ALM (over 4400 registered users from 82 countries) will encourage their uptake and use in a variety of sectors for multiple applications, such as chemical toxicity screening or within integrated approaches to chemical safety assessment.  The data generated by end-users may also aid the retrospective validation of methods intended for more routine regulatory use which may eventually be incorporated into future OECD Test Guidelines.  DB-ALM already contains over 300 entries for alternative methods, at all stages of development and with various levels of detail (summary descriptions or detailed protocols). It covers mainly in vitro methods, but also includes non-experimental approaches.