EPAA 8th Annual Conference Focuses on International Cooperation

The European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) organized its 8th Annual Conference in Brussels to emphasize the need for stronger and greater international cooperation in finding future alternatives to animal testing and ensuring their use in regulatory contexts.

EPAA is a collaboration between five EU Commission services and seven industry sectors: animal health, chemicals, cosmetics, crop protection, fragrances, pharmaceuticals, soaps and detergents. Earlier this year, Symrise became the first company in the fragrance and flavor industry to join the group.

While Europe has pioneered efforts in the 3Rs of replacing, reducing and refining animal testing, the EPAA says further progress lies in strengthened international cooperation. In particular, it plans to work towards developing connections with other regions.

Focusing on international cooperation, the EPAA co‐chairs signed a memorandum of understanding with Rodger Curren, president of U.S.-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.

Meanwhile, Julia Scheel, EPAA’s industry co‐chair, cited a number of activities developed or launched during 2012 such as reducing the number of animals used in vaccines batch testing and advancing 3Rs in other dedicated areas of regulatory toxicology including carcinogenicity and skin sensitization.

The conference, which attracted around 150 delegates, also included updates from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration, the Organisation for Economic  Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). The speakers highlighted both the potential benefits as well as the main challenges arising from implementing increased collaboration on the 3Rs.

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