The New ecopa board

This year's ecopa general assembly at November 10th was set up in the Hotel Santo Domingo in the beautiful capital city of Spain, Madrid. At the meeting the incumbent ecopa board members as well as the representatives of nine national consensus platforms were present.

The president of ecopa Adela Lopez de Cerain from REMA - the Spanish national platform opened the general assembly reporting on the activities in the board the previous year mainly focusing on new website and te annual meeting in Milan 2010. In compliance with the agenda the representatives of the national platforms presented their activities from the past year. These presentations will be available at the webpage

Notably, beside the presented success stories ecopa's general assembly 2011 was also highlighted by the election of the new ecopa board. The election was carried out regarding the articles of the association, and the ballot was set up corresponding to features of a secret election. The seats for the president, for the vice president, for four national consensus platform (NCP) delegates and for three 3Rs specialists were redistributed. All segments of this election showed clear results.

For the next two years Lisbeth Ehlert Knudsen, DACOPA, will mandate for the presidency, Tuula Heinonen, FINCOPA will serve as the vice president, Philipp Vanparys, Belgium, is treasurer, Marianne Norring Finland, Manfred Liebsch, Germany, Erwin Roggen, Denmark and Sophie Deleu, Netherlands will act as the NCP delegates. Thomas Hartung, US/Germany, Troy Seidle, UK and Marianne Kuil, Netherlands are the designated 3Rs experts.

Directly after the election the first board meeting were hold in a closed session deciding a continued effort in promoting the NCP activities, transparent communication and dissemination through this ECOPA corner and the website as well as meetings and workshops organized locally as the REMA meeting in Madrid. Upcoming annual meetings are organized in Switzerland 2012, Germany 2013 and Norway.

It remains to be said, that the whole 3Rs community wishes the board members for the period 2011 to 2013 the best for their new offices.

Scientific roadmap for the future of animal-free systemic toxicity testing

The desire to transition to animal-free systemic toxicity testing is fueled by testing needs such as the European REACH regulation and a possible US TSCA reauthorization as well as testing bans for cosmetic ingredients in Europe. Other areas and novel products could similarly benefit from human predictive approaches.

A recent stocktaking (Adler et al. 2011) and its expert review (Hartung et al. 2011) identified gaps in the science available. In order to promote the development of a roadmap to close these gaps, an expert workshop was held (Basketter et al 2012), which shall be presented and discussed here in a multi-stakeholder Forum (CAAT-Europe, CAAT-US, CEFIC, Cosmetics Europe, DZF, ECOPA, ESTIV, EUSAAT, IIVS, IVTIP, HSI ,ToxCast).

Please note that the participation in this event is free of charge, and that due to the limited number of participants a registration is required.

For registration please contact

Following this link and you will be forwarded to the designated hotel registration web page (the code VUB is already preset).

EU research corner


The overall goal of the first stage of the project was to compare a series of established liver-based, kidney-based and lung-based in vitro models for their transcriptomics response to a set of prototypical carcinogenic compounds. As a result of these intensive testing efforts, the best performing models (i.e. in terms of mechanistic classifying power) have been selected for the liver work and for the kidney track. Regarding the former, the human hepatoma HepaRG® cell line came out as the most appropriate in vitro system.

In the second presently ongoing stage of carcinoGENOMICS, which is mainly aimed at testing the robustness of the selected experimental systems, HepaRG® cells, like in the first stage of the project, are challenged with another set of 15 test chemicals, of which 5 genotoxic carcinogens, 5 non-genotoxic carcinogens and 5 non-carcinogens.

In a parallel set of experiments, 3 compounds, already scrutinized in the first stage of the project, are simultaneously and independently tested in the HepaRG® cell system by 3 different laboratories (i.e. 3 partners of the project) in a blinded way in order to assess intra- and inter-laboratory reproducibility and transferability at the transcriptomics and metabolomics level.

All data generated by the involved laboratories are currently being analyzed and the final outcome of the liver work performed in the context of the second stage of carcinoGENOMICS will be shortly available.

The project will end in April 2012 and the final meeting will be held on 16th of April in the Crowne Plaza hotel, Maastricht, The Netherlands followed by a Capacity building meeting titled "Is the gap filled?" on 17th of April during which regulators are invited to give some feedback about the project results. It is expected that at that time, two thoroughly characterized in vitro models for testing chemical-induced hepatic and renal carcinogenicity will be delivered. As such, this will form the solid basis for potential follow-up projects in area of in vitro carcinogenicity testing.

DETECTIVE is a FP7 project part of the SEURAT-1 cluster, a European research initiative co-funded by the European Commission and Cosmetics Europe (former COLIPA) aiming at "Safety Evaluation Ultimately Replacing Animal testing". The specific goal of DETECTIVE is the identification of key biomarkers for repeated dose toxicity assessment in heart, liver and kidney.

The second DETECTIVE General Assembly took place on February 6-7, 2012 in Lisbon, Portugal. This meeting was followed by the second Annual Cluster Meeting of SEURAT-1 on February, 8-9 at the same location, organised by the COACH project, the SEURAT-1 coordination action. The SEURAT-1 cluster meeting was successful in its bridging activities between DETECTIVE and the five other projects of the cluster. Presentations were given with respect to the achievements of the first year and the priorities set for the second year.

Working sessions were dedicated to specific topics (such as the characterization and standardization of stem cells and questions related to biokinetics, mode of action and safety assessment) in which the different partners were discussing the cross-cluster integration of specific projects' results. Young scientists were invited to present, through a poster, their results already obtained during the first year of the SEURAT-1 cluster projects.

Anja Wilmes from the DETECTIVE partner Medizinische Universität Innsbruck presented the "Application of the xCELLigence system for monitoring vectorial transport and toxicity of renal epithelial cells" (prepared in collaboration with ROCHE), and received one of the three awards sponsored by Cosmetics Europe. Furthermore, the DETECTIVE project brochure was distributed during the SEURAT-1 meeting and is available for download together with the poster on the DETECTIVE project website at

Policy corner

Integrating Emerging Technologies into Chemical Safety Assessment
Read more >

Computational Toxicology Research Program
Read more >

Validation of the BG1Luc Estrogen Receptor Transcriptional Activation Test Method
Read more >

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

JRC releases new reference material used in blood tests
Read more >

ECHA plans to update its guidance for registration of substances in nanoform
Read more >

IUCLID 5.3.2
Read more >

A new version of ECHA's chemical safety and report tool Chesar is now available
Read more >

Communication on the safe use of chemicals
Read more >

Use of the Murine Local Lymph Node Assay for Potency Categorization of Chemicals Causing Allergic Contact Dermatitis in Humans
Read more >

Thank You to our Sponsors!

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

ecopa Annual Conference
19th November 2012
Zürich Switzerland

International Conference and Workshop on Biological Barriers - in vitro and in silico Tools for Drug Delivery and Nanosafety Research
Feb 29th - March 9th, 2012
Saarbrücken, Germany

Advancing Technologies & The 3Rs
March 2nd, 2012
Somerset Park, Somerset,

ChemCon Europe 2012
March 5th - 9th, 2012
Madrid, Spain

Society of Toxicology (SOT) annual meeting
March 11th - 15th, 2012
San Francisco, USA

Symposium: 3D Cell
Culture 2012

March 14th - 16th, 2012
Zürich, Switzerland

FDA Public Workshop on Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology: From In Vivo to In Vitro
April 16th, 2012
Silver Spring, (MD), USA

Workshop: Model-based drug development: Incorporating population variability into mechanistic prediction of PK and modelling of PK-PD
April 16th - 20th, 2012
Basel, Switzerland

Chemical Assessment and Testing: Biocides Technical Meeting I - 2012
Date and venue to be confirmed

The draft Animal Welfare (Breeding of Dogs) (Wales) Regulations 2012
Deadline: March 20th 2012

Defra Consultation on a Proposal to use a Legislative Reform Order to make changes to the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966
Deadline: April 2nd 2012

Consultation on Delivering more Sustainable Consumption and Production
Deadline: April 3rd 2012

The European Commission's proposals for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund
Deadline: April 18th 2012

Czech Republic
The Netherlands