Happy New Year!

Warmest greetings for 2011. It was a pleasure to reconnect with many of you at the recent IPAM-ecopa workshop and 11th ecopa General Assembly in Milan and to receive your feedback and ideas regarding future ecopa initiatives and opportunities for collaboration with national platforms.

With the new year comes renewed momentum for ecopa. We have three major events planned for 2011, beginning with a joint workshop with CAAT-EU on 3Rs aspects of the new EU animal experiments directive (31 January-2 February in Berlin). Then from 5-7 May, an ecopa Science Initiative meeting on the significance and impact of biomarkers and their application in alternatives will be held in Pueblo Acantiado, Spain. NCPs are encouraged to nominate participants for both meetings. Finally, the 2011 General Assembly will take place in November, also in Spain, organised in cooperation with REMA.

I am also delighted to announce the launch of the redesigned ecopa website - visit us online at ecopa.eu. Sincere thanks to board member Troy Seidle for leading this ambitious redesign effort, and for his work on this and recent e-newsletters.

Finally, I am pleased to announce ecopa’s participation on the advisory board of the recently launched FP7 Environment coordination project EUROECOTOX, which aims at advancing “alternative thinking to achieve validation of new regulatory tests and the 3Rs goals in ecotoxicology”.

Adela López de Cerain
President of ecopa

2010 workshop and general assembly

The joint IPAM-ecopa workshop “Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century and Alternative Methods” and 11th ecopa General Assembly were held back-to-back on 26-27 November 2010 in Milan. The workshop consisted of twelve plenary presentations by leading European and international authorities, including Drs John Bucher (US NIEHS), Thomas Hartung (Johns Hopkins University), Emanuela Corsini (Università di Milano), Jürgen Borlak (Fraunhofer Institute), Aldert Piersma (RIVM), and Maurice Whelan (European Commission), followed by a roundtable discussion with presenters representing the four pillars upon which ecopa is based - academia, animal welfare, government and industry. Workshop proceedings and minutes from the ecopa General Assembly will be posted soon on the “events” page of ecopa.eu.

EPAA annual conference

Reduction and Refinement: Combining Excellence in Science and Animal Welfare was the theme of the 5th annual conference of the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing, held 30 November 2010 in Brussels. The conference focused on opportunities for direct and immediate reductions in animal use in chemicals, pesticides, food, and other regulated product sectors. Speakers included European Commissioners John Dalli (Health and Consumers) and Janez Potocnik (Environment), together with representatives of industry, academia, and NGOs. Presentations can be found here.

EU research corner

The new report Alternative Testing Strategies: Progress Report 2010 has been released by the EU FP7 coordination project AXLR8. The 2010 report includes: an introduction to AXLR8; an update on the activities and achievements of 3Rs-oriented research funded under the Health theme of the EU’s 6th and 7th Research Framework Programmes during the year 2009; contributions from EU member state 3Rs centres and from international colleagues who participated in the 2010 AXLR8 Scientific Workshop and public Info Forum; observations by the independent AXLR8 Scientific Panel on the status of EU and international 3Rs research and development activities; and suggestions for near-term research priorities to advance the science of toxicity testing, as well as EU legislative mandates in relation to the 3Rs. The 2010 Progress Report is available online, and a limited number of hard copies are available upon request from the AXLR8 Secretariat.

ecopa is dissemination partner in the EU 6th and 7th Framework Programme projects carcinoGENOMICS, ESNATS and Sens-it-iv. Brief updates from these projects are provided below.

The annual carcinoGENOMICS consortium meeting took place in Arona, Italy on 8-10 November 2010. The British Toxicology Society (BTS) is organising a workshop in conjunction with its annual congress jointly with the Nederlandse Vereniging voor Toxicologie (NVT) from 27-30 March 2011. More information will be made available through the carcinoGENOMICS website.

The next annual consortium meeting of the Embryonic Stem Cell-Based Novel Alternative Testing Strategies (ESNATS) project is planned from 1-5 May 2011 near Thessaloniki in Greece, and will be organised in combination with the third annual ESNATS “summer school”.

Originally scheduled to terminate by 30 September 2010, the Sens-it-iv project has been extended by the European Commission until 31 March 2011. In the remaining months, efforts will concentrate on setting up an e-learning programme to support public access to the experimental know-how on assays available within the final Sens-it-iv toolbox; development of a White Paper summarising experimental results and proposing an
in vitro testing strategy for allergenicity; and hosting a 23-25 November 2011 congress at the Crowne Plaza Brussels Airport Hotel to mark the official closure of this EU-funded project. Programme and registration details will be posted on the Sens-it-iv website.

Policy corner

Council of Ministers backs Parliament 3Rs amendments to biocides regulation.
Read more >

Key milestone for OECD extended 1-generation reprotox guideline.
Read more >

SCFCAH endorses in vitro replacement for mouse bioassay for marine biotoxin detection in live bivalve molluscs.
Read more >

Nearly 3,400 substances pass "momentous" REACH deadline.
Read more >

UK government confirms its intension to develop a strategy to reduce animal experiments.
Read more >

Thank You to our Sponsors!

... including all those who have made in-kind contributions to ecopa

 coming events   

won't you join us?

CAAT-EU / ecopa Workshop: ‘Implementation of the New Directive 2010/63/EU on the Protection of Animals Used for Scientific Purposes’
31 January – 2 February 2011
Berlin, Germany
Programme >

ecopa Science Initiative: ‘Significance and Impact of Biomarkers and their application in alternatives’
5-7 May 2011
Pueblo Acantiado, Spain
Details coming soon to ecopa.eu

other coming events

6th Annual International Conference on Predictive Human Toxicity and ADME/Tox Studies
27-28 January 2011
Brussels, Belgium
Read more >

Predictive Toxicology to Reduce Late-Stage Drug Attrition and Maximise Profitability
22-24 February 2011
London, UK
Read more >

In Vitro Reconstructed Human Tissue Models as Alternatives to Animal Testing: Applicability and Limitations
IVTIP Spring 2011 Meeting in collaboration with ESTIV and CAAT-EU

26-28 April 2011
Read more >

Third International Conference on Alternatives for Developmental Neurotoxicity Testing
11-13 May 2011
Ispra, Italy
Read more >

8th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences
21-25 August 2011
Montréal, Canada
Read more >

47th Congress of the European Societies of Toxicology
28-31 August 2011
Paris, France
Read more >

Call for expression of interest in ECVAM stakeholder forum

The European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods is creating the ECVAM Stakeholder Forum (ESTAF) to bring together non-governmental stakeholders and is inviting expressions of interest from industry associations, civil society/non-governmental organisations and research foundations and organisations.
Deadline: 15 January 2011.

National consensus platforms throughout Europe

Czech Republic
The Netherlands