Latest News

Australian Cosmetics Industry backs Restrictions on Animal Testing

Accord, the industry body for the Australian cosmetics industry, has dropped its opposition to government plans to ban testing on animals for cosmetic products.

The Department of Health announced last summer that it intended to introduce a ban on the testing of finished cosmetic products and their ingredients on animals in Australia, and the sale of the same that have been tested on animals outside of the country.

The ban would come into effect, with transitional arrangements, from 1 July.

In a consultation paper issued in March this year, the department says the proposals will allow a number of exceptions. These will include data from testing begun before the ban; for cosmetics already on sale in Australia; and testing for other purposes, such medicine or pesticides, environmental protection or occupational health and safety.

 

Simulators Replace Animals at 3 Medical Colleges

To learn medical science, the students of three medical colleges will no longer have to crudely dissect dead animals, whose anatomy they can examine now on simulators.

The animal simulators, known as the Elsevier’s Animal Simulator education software, have been given by PETA to the Department of Pharmacology at Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College in Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh, Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College Kangra in Tanda, Himachal Pradesh and Indira Gandhi Medical College in Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

The animal simulator is a locally developed computer- assisted learning tool that is designed for undergraduate and postgraduate students of medicine and pharmacology, and it can replace the use of animals to train the students.

 

Lab unveils ‘Heart-on-a-Chip’

Through “-on-a-chip” technology—modeling a human heart on an engineered chip and measuring the effects of compound exposure on functions of  using microelectrodes—Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers hope to decrease the time needed for new drug trials and ensure potentially lifesaving drugs are safe and effective while reducing the need for human and animal testing. The research is part of the Lab’s iCHIP (in-vitro Chip-Based Human Investigational Platform) project, which replicates human systems on engineered platforms to test the effects of toxic chemical and biological compounds.

OECD Aims to Extend Acceptance of Non-Animal Test Data

The OECD has launched a project to create a system for interpreting data, in an effort to extend use of non-animal testing through the mutual acceptance of data (MAD) scheme.

MAD can rarely be applied to non-standalone alternative test data because of complex relationships between test methods and prediction models that associate data from multiple sources. The OECD project – adopted at the recent meeting of the working group of the national coordinators of the test guidelines programme (WNT) – aims to overcome this issue by developing a “defined approach” to interpreting non-animal test data.

 

EU Lab Publishes Recommendations on Non-Animal Skin Allergy Tests

The EU Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL Ecvam) has published its recommendation on the use of non-animal approaches for skin sensitisation (allergy) testing.

In December, a team of scientists demonstrated that OECD-validated non-animal skin sensitisation assays can reliably predict substances that are sensitisers that require activation by skin cells.

 

Implementation of Alternative Testing Strategies under Amended TSCA

The amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) has ushered in new developments in testing strategies.  In March 2017, Andre E. Nel, Ph.D. (Division of NanoMedicine, Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, California (UCLA); California NanoSystems Institute, UCLA (CNSI)) and Timothy F. Malloy (CNSI; UCLA School of Law; UCLA Center on Environmental and Occupational Health) published Policy reforms to update chemical safety testing:  TSCA reform empowers EPA to use modernized safety testing in the United States, in the Journal Science.  This article discusses this new “paradigm” in testing, which it states relies “largely on nonanimal, alternative testing strategies (ATS), uses mechanism-based in vitro assays and in silico predictive tools for testing chemicals at considerably less cost.”  There are technological and institutional challenges, however, that the article addresses, but the authors state they hope to provide a “cautious but hopeful assessment of this intersection of law and science.