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OECD launched a new QSAR assessment framework signaling a shift towards animal-free testing methods

Amid the impending REACH revision, the need for alternative testing methods is becoming increasingly urgent as the required testing volume per substance and per approval is set to rise significantly. Currently, many of these tests continue to rely on animal testing. In this pursuit, all involved parties are seeking new, effective testing procedures that are regulator-approved and animal-free. 

In this matter, the OECD has just launched a new QSAR assessment framework, developed in collaboration with ECHA and the Italian National Institute of Health, signaling a shift towards animal-free testing methods. This framework not only assists regulators in evaluating computational results but also strengthens confidence in the adoption of alternative methods for assessing chemical hazards. With a comprehensive checklist and insightful guidance, the framework ensures transparency and consistency in the assessment of QSAR results. 

Furthermore, in line with these efforts, the EU has established its own reference laboratory „EU Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM)“ as part of the Joint Research Centre. 

Additionally, the Commission will introduce a roadmap comprising a series of both legislative and non-legislative measures to further reduce animal testing. The objective is to transition to a regulatory framework under the chemicals legislation (such as REACH, Biocidal Product Regulation, Plant Protection Products Regulation, and human and veterinary medicines) that is free of animal involvement, while consistently providing support for alternative methods to animal testing. 

The Akademie Fresenius offers the unique opportunity to pose your questions directly to the authorities (JRC) and industry (Dow Europe) at the International Conference „Endocrine Disruptors“ on 30 November and 1 December 2023. Find the full programme right here.

On 7 March 2024 representatives from authorities, the food industry as well as from the scientific fields will be talking about Next Generation Risk Assessment (NGRA) and New Approach Methods (NAMs) for food safety. Hear about the most exciting topics in food safety risk assessment including which methods to use and their restrictions. Request updates to this online conference here.

Source: ECHA Europa, European Commission

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