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Launch of the OECD's Adverse Outcome Pathway Knowledge Base

News details
Sep 25, 2014
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Crowdsourcing information on toxicological mechanisms to further new animal-free approaches to chemical safety assessment

Today, the OECD Adverse Outcome Pathway Knowledge Base project (AOP-KB) co-led by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre and the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) releases the first AOP-KB module, the AOP Wiki (

The AOP-KB is a unique web-based tool designed to collect, organise, evaluate and share toxicological knowledge between scientific and regulatory communities on an unprecedented scale. The primary aim is to boost the development and acceptance of predictive toxicology approaches that offer the highest levels of protection to humans and the environment while avoiding the need for animal testing.

An Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOP) is a standardised way of describing the sequential chain of causally linked biological events within an organism that can lead to an adverse health or ecotoxicological effect of regulatory concern. AOPs serve to coherently and concisely integrate mechanistic knowledge distributed across diverse sources to make it more readily available to variety of end-users. Applications of AOP knowledge to the hazard assessment of chemicals include the development of new alternative (computational and in vitro) methods, the design of integrated testing strategies, and the underpinning of weight-of-evidence and read-across arguments frequently used for priority setting and to satisfy regulatory information requirements.   

JRC's EURL ECVAM (EU Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing) is a key player in the AOP-KB project and sees the knowledge base emerging as a pivotal asset to stakeholders worldwide that are committed to the development and validation of alternative methods to animal testing. Academia, regulatory authorities, industry and NGOs can all use the AOP-KB as a freely available source of information and to actively contribute to AOP development and evaluation.

More details on the AOP-KB and the launch of the AOP Wiki are available from the OECD press release: "OECD launches its knowledge base on Adverse Outcome Pathways" (25.09.2014).