Joint CAAT-EU/ecopa workshop

The new animal experiments directive 2010/63/EU represents a tremendous opportunity to further animal welfare and the 3Rs in the 27 member states of the EU. It also challenges each country to a different degree in terms of transposition into national law in that many provisions leave room for interpretation and variants of degrees of implementation.

A joint CAAT-EU/ecopa workshop focusing on the 3Rs aspects of the new directive was held in Berlin, Germany from 31 January to 2 February 2011. This event initiated a stakeholder discussion to pinpoint needs and opportunities for development of a roadmap for implementation. With the goal of promoting pan-European consistency, the participants discussed how to further this process in order to fully exploit this progress to humane science. A summary of pertinent discussion points of the workshop is under preparation and will be available soon on

ecopa to participate in new ECVAM Stakeholder Forum

ecopa has been selected by the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods to be represented on the newly constituted ECVAM Stakeholder Forum (ESTAF) by board member and 3Rs expert Troy Seidle. As announced in the January newsletter, ESTAF has been established to bring together ECVAM stakeholders who operate at EU-level to promote enhanced communication, engagement and transparency. Members of ESTAF include industry associations, research foundations, and civil society and non-governmental organisations. The first meeting of ESTAF will take place on 27 May in Ispra, Italy. Updates from ESTAF meetings will be disseminated in future ecopa newsletters and via our website.

Meeting on 3Rs and vaccines

On 7 April, ECVAM and the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing co-hosted a workshop on ‘Application of the 3Rs and the Consistency Approach for Improved Vaccines. Given the potentially variable biological nature of vaccines, regulators normally require testing of each batch for safety and/or efficacy, a process which consumes a vast number of animals in sometimes lethal experiments. The consistency approach is based on the principle that once a commercial vaccine has been thoroughly characterised, a strict equivalence assessment may be carried out on subsequent batches without additional animal testing. The goal of this workshop was to bring together EU regulators, industry and other stakeholders to increase acceptance and use of the consistency approach in practice. Workshop presentations are available on the EPAA website.

EU research corner

1-3 March marked the official kick-off of the €50 million European Commission-COLIPA ‘Safety Evaluation Ultimately Replacing Animal Testing’ (SEURAT) programme aimed at replacement of current repeated dose systemic toxicity testing in human safety assessment. The meeting brought together the coordinators of the seven new large-scale and projects, as well as the leaders of ongoing projects funded under the health theme of the 6th and 7th EU Research Framework Programmes. Read More >

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.

At the 15 March board meeting it was confirmed that the carcinoGENOMICS project will be extended by an additional six months. As part of its dissemination strategy, the project has supported a 27-30 March scientific workshop co-organised by the British Toxicology Society and the Nederlandse Verening voor Toxicologie. More information is available through the carcinoGENOMICS website. A second capacity-building meeting is also envisioned; date to be determined. The next project board meeting is scheduled for June at the Brussels Airport.

This month the Embryonic Stem cell-based Novel Alternative Testing Strategies (ESNATS) project began its 4th year. The next ESNATS annual consortium meeting will be combined with a ‘summer school’; these are planned from 1-5 May near Thessaloniki, Greece.

The Sens-it-iv project officially terminated on 31 March 2011. During the last months, efforts were made to establish an e-learning programme supporting public access to the experimental knowledgebase on assays available within the Sens-it-iv toolbox. The e-learning prototype is available here. The Sens-it-iv consortium is hosting a congress marking the official closure of this EU FP6-funded project from 23-25 November at the Crowne Plaza Brussels Airport Hotel. The objective is to actively stimulate the transfer and implementation of knowledge acquired and of tools developed by the consortium in the areas of skin and respiratory sensitisation, through discussion, and a marketplace of innovation. A draft programme is available here.

Policy corner

Stakeholder position papers on the future EU animal welfare strategy Read more >

ECHA publishes 'quick guide' to finding information on the new chemicals legislation. Read more >

Updated version of the OECD QSAR Toolbox now available for download. Read more >

OECD publishes in vitro skin irritation testing background document. Read more >

Thank You to our Sponsors!

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

28th Workshop of SSCT and the FINCOPA Seminar:
Towards Toxicity Assessment Without Animals

21-23 September 2011
Tampere, Finland
Programme >

ecopa Annual Conference
11-12 November 2011
Madrid, Spain
Details coming soon to

3rd International Conference on Alternatives for Developmental Neurotoxicity Testing
11-13 May 2011
Ispra, Italy

SETAC Europe 21st Annual Meeting
15-19 May 2011
Milan, Italy

ECHA's 6th Stakeholders' Day
17-18 May 2011
Helsinki, Finland

Saarbruecken Conference: In Vitro Cell Culture
18-20 May 2011
Saarbruecken, Germany

9th International Conference on Chemical Structures
5-9 June 2011
Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands

Society for Experimental Biology Annual Main Meeting 2011
1-4 July 2011
Glasgow, Scotland

Genetic Toxicology Gordon Research Conference
10-15 July 2011
Lucca, Italy

Reduced Animal Testing
28-29 July 2011
Zurich, Switzerland

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

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

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is inviting public input regarding its Multiannual Work Programme 2012-2014.
Deadline: 15 May 2011.

The European Commission is proposing major changes to EU research and innovation funding and is inviting public and stakeholder input regarding its Green Paper.
Deadline: 20 May 2011.

Principles developed in 1985 by the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) to guide the use of vertebrate animals in scientific and/or educational activities are being revised, and the public is invited to comment on the proposed new guiding principles.
Deadline: 1 July 2011.

Czech Republic
The Netherlands