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JRC at the 8th Annual Conference of EPAA (the European Partnership for Alternatives to Animal Testing)

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Nov 23, 2012
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Maurice Whelan (Head of JRC-IHCP Systems Toxicology Unit and EURL ECVAM - the EU Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing) presented EURL ECVAM's contribution to international cooperation in validation of alternative methods in the cosmetics sector

On 16 November 2012, around 150 delegates attended the 8th Annual conference of EPAA - the European Partnership for Alternatives to Animal Testing, a voluntary collaboration between the European Commission, European trade associations, and companies from seven industry sectors.

Contributing to the session on 'International Cooperation on 3Rs in the cosmetics sector', Prof. Maurice Whelan (JRC-IHCP and EURL-ECVAM) highlighted the achievements of the International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods (ICATM) which brings together validation bodies from the EU, USA, Canada, Japan and the Republic of Korea with the aim of aligning efforts in validation and regulatory acceptance. 

He also stressed the importance of international collaboration in research and development of integrated approaches to safety assessment and outlined ECVAM's strategy to use an Adverse Outcome Pathway approach to design Integrated Testing Strategies for animal-free assessment of skin sensitisation potential of chemicals. 

When presenting the EPAA Science Award 2012 to Dr Nils Klüver (Department of Bio-analytical Eco-toxicology at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig) for his project on "Increasing the predictive capacity of the fish embryo test", Prof. Whelan commented that "this proposal is a great example of how innovative research can further develop a method to improve its performance and broaden its applicability even after it has been validated".

EPAA logoSpeakers from international bodies (US Food and Drug Administration, the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration, OECD), European Commission Directorates-General and Agencies, research institutes, NGOs and industry highlighted the EU's pioneering efforts in the 3Rs (replacing, reducing and refining animal testing) and in strengthening international cooperation towards the sustainable and ethical development of safe innovative products worldwide.

Marking this commitment to international cooperation, the EPAA Cochairs signed a pdf icon Memorandum of Understanding with the US-based Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS). EPAA and IIVS have agreed to establish a strategic partnership dedicated to the international dissemination of alternative techniques for safety evaluation. EPAA will provide sponsorship of up to €100,000 over the next two years to IIVS to support training activities in key regions, including China and Brazil. 

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Photo: Delegates at the 8th EPAA Annual Conference in Brussels. Copyright EPAA 2012.