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August 3, 2015

Humane Society International Sponsors China’s 2015 International Conference on Toxicity Testing Alternatives and Translational Toxicology

China could play leading role in future global shift towards modern non-animal testing, says HSI

Humane Society International

  • Presenters at the conference. HSI

More than 500 scientists of toxicology, environmental sciences, pharmacology and cosmetics from around the globe recently gathered in Xi’an, China to discuss advancements in 21st century alternatives to animal testing in toxicology. The conference was co-sponsored by Humane Society International and companies including Unilever, L’Oréal and Shell, and hosted by the Chinese Society of Toxicology’s Committee on Toxicological Alternatives and Translational Toxicology, and the Chinese Environment Mutagen Society’s Committee on Toxicity Testing and Alternatives methods. HSI works with stakeholders around the globe to popularize adverse outcome pathways (AOP) and advance the replacement of animals in research and testing. 

At a time when China is reviewing regulatory requirements across multiple sectors, scientists have a key opportunity to modernize testing regimes to reflect the very latest human biology-based techniques that science has to offer. State-of-the-art OECD-validated in vitro methods are yet to be adopted by a number of Chinese ministries, which means that less human-relevant methods are still dominant across China’s regulatory framework. The pace of alternatives adoption will now accelerate in recognition of the revolution taking place in toxicity testing around the globe -- from the low throughput, cost- and time-intensive traditional animal based (in vivo) toxicology paradigm with qualitative endpoints, to AOP-based in vitro toxicity pathway assays using robotic high-throughput screening with mechanistic quantitative parameters.

Troy Seidle, director of research & toxicology for HSI, said: “With the rapid development of the biological sciences and technology, significant advances have been achieved in toxicological alternatives and translational toxicology that not only improve the relevance of research outcomes, but bring practical and ethical advantages too. These cutting-edge techniques are increasingly being applied in safety evaluation of chemicals, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. China is well positioned to join other innovation economies in contributing to the global paradigm shift towards modern, non-animal tests, and we hope this is the first of many future scientific events in China to accelerate the pace of alternatives adoption in the country.” 

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Conference delegates attended workshops on a range of topics such as toxicity testing in the 21st Century–strategy and progress; Adverse Outcome Pathway framework and risk assessment; the development and application of toxicological alternatives; and translational toxicology. Experts from China, the United States, the European Union, United Kingdom and the OECD presented 51 reports, providing the ideal platform for international academic exchanges, as well as in-depth debate between scientists, industry and government representatives.  

A special symposium - TT21C/AOP China Roadmap – was also convened to address the need to increase Chinese regulatory uptake of currently available alternatives and the AOP paradigm. The symposium attracted more than 100 representatives to discuses non-animal approaches in systemic toxicity, and established a TT21C/AOP working team to focus on developing a China AOP roadmap.

HSI’s China regulatory affairs advisor, Tina Qu, said: “This conference marks a significant milestone in China’s approach to toxicology, bridging Chinese and global efforts in developing and utilizing alternatives & translational toxicology. We anticipate that in the future China will play an increasingly leading role in this field, with opportunities for international collaboration to advance test method development and acceptance. With increasing acceptance of the scientific and ethical imperative to shift away from traditional animal-based research, we are excited to be helping to facilitate China’s journey towards twenty-first century science.” 
Media Contact: Wendy Higgins, whiggins@hsi.org +44 (0)7989 972 423

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