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Volume 13, Issue 1  

EPAA Signs Memorandum of Understanding with IIVS

EPAA and IIVS MOU Signing
EPAA co-chairs and IIVS President sign a memorandum of Understanding.

In an effort to ensure stronger international cooperation on advancing non-animal testing methods, The European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) and IIVS have agreed to establish a strategic partnership dedicated to the international dissemination of alternative techniques for safety evaluation. EPAA will provide sponsorship of up to €100,000 over the next two years to IIVS to support training activities in key regions, including China and Brazil. Dr. Rodger Curren, President of IIVS, stated that "EPAA's efforts to promote international cooperation on the 3Rs will be greatly complemented by our joint activities and solid international network." Click here to view the full text of the MOU. Read more about the memorandum of understanding and the EPAA meeting at the EPAA website.


The Short Time Exposure (STE) Assay for Ocular Irritation Assessment  


Seeking to replace the use of the Draize Eye Test, Kao Corporation (Japan), has developed the Short Time Exposure (STE) assay. Based on a monolayer culture of SIRC cells, Kao has utilized the assay to assess the ocular irritation potential of ingredients and final formulations. Recently IIVS and 2 other laboratories conducted an inter-laboratory evaluation  of the assay. The results of this validation exercise will be presented in a poster at the annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology in March, 2013. The STE assay has gained the support of the Japanese Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods (JaCVAM) and is being considered for peer review for an OECD test guideline (TG).



STE Webinar    

COLAMA 2012:  
1st Latin American Congress Of Alternative Methods for Use Of Animals In Education, Research and Industry

Styled after the World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, COLAMA provided a forum for Latin American countries interested in alternative methods. The host country, Brazil, recently created the Brazilian Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods (BraCVAM) through cooperation between the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) and the National Network of Alternative Methods (RENAMA). The
COLAMA conference was organized in Niteroi (RJ) and attended by almost 200 people including over 40 speakers and 12 supporting organizations. IIVS was proud to be recognized as a Bronze Supporter of the meeting.

The program spanned 4 days and themes included: 
  • Ethical Considerations
  • Alternative Methods for Teaching and Training
  • Animal Welfare and Refinement
  • Reduction and Replacement

Dr. Chantra Eskes, president of SeCam, delivered the opening lecture titled "Validation and Acceptance of Alternative Methods: Past, Present & Future." In addition to several Latin American speakers, presentations were given by scientists from the United States and Europe. Dr. Rodger Curren of IIVS spoke on "The Use of 3D Tissue Constructs for the Assesment of Genotoxicity."  


The attendees showed great enthusiasm for the use and acceptance of alternative methods within Brazil and other areas of Latin America. According to Octavio Presgrave, a Toxicologist at Brazil's National Institute of Quality Control in Health and of one of the COLAMA organizers, "COLAMA was a great event since it brought together Brazilian and international experts from Cuba, USA, Europe, Peru, Argentina, and other countries, and included a broad-spectrum of professionals representing institutions of research, education, and industries such as the Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Humane Society International, SeCAM, O Boticário, Natura, and Federal University of Bahia."


The success of COLAMA was crowned by the creation of the Brazilian Society of Alternative Methods (SBMAlt). The Congress will be organized every three years with Cuba being considered as the host country for 2015.



Other Activities in Brazil


Following COLAMA, Dr. Curren participted in the Humane Society International's regulatory science workshop in Brasilia titled "Current and Future Prospects of Alternatives for Cosmetics Testing".   

Dr. Curren also traveled to a meeting of ANVISA, ABIHPEC, and ITEHPEC titled "Harmonization of Techniques for Safety Evaluation of Cosmetics and their Ingredients" where he educated participants on the use of in vitro methods for determining the ocular irritation potential of materials.  


IIVS International Training Programs 


IIVS's Industry Council for the Advancement of Regualtory Acceptance of Alternatives (ICARAA): Training at Reshine Biotech 



Nathan in China
IIVS Study Director, Nathan Wilt, explains how to use 3D tissue cultures for in vitro testing during a training workshop at Shaanxi Reshine Biotech.

At the end of October, 2012, IIVS scientists traveled to China to provide training to Chinese researchers through IIVS' Industry Council for the Advancement of Regulatory Acceptance of Alternatives (ICARAA). The team visited Shaanxi Reshine Biotech in Xi'an to instruct their staff on three OECD accepted in vitro methods. The program consisted of lectures on the Bovine Cornea Opacity and Permeability (BCOP), 3T3 Neutral Red Uptake Phototoxicity (3T3 NRU PT) and the Skin Irritation Test (SIT) assays followed by hands-on laboratory training in these methods. Nearly 30 scientists attended these instructional sessions including representatives from the Chinese sFDA and AQSIQ.


Although this training provided the Chinese scientists with their first exposure to these methods, their local efforts clearly assisted the program. Importantly, the bovine corneas used in the training were obtained locally and the skin tissue models were generated on-site at Shaanxi Reshine.


A key component of IIVS' mission is to assist in vitro test method developers to optimize and validate their products for use by industry and the regulatory community. Realizing the need for 3D skin constructs and the limitation on importation of such models into China, IIVS views Shaanxi Reshine as a viable option for the production of skin models for safety testing within China. With further training and development, it is expected that Shaanxi Reshine can provide tissue constructs for use in regulatory submissions, once they are accepted by Chinese authorities. They could also become a training center to help in the evaluation and validation of in vitro methods in China, and potentially provide safety testing to companies for product development and regulatory submissions.

ICARAA was created through the support of companies dedicated to providing technical assistance to companies, universities and governments with the goal of regulatory acceptance of non-animal methods in countries which still rely on animal models for the safety evaluation of ingredients and products.



IIVS International Outreach Program (IOP):  

BCOP Training at Beijing Technology and Business University


IIVS staff traveled to Beijing to provide training at Beijing Technology and Business University (BTBU). BTBU is the leading Chinese university in cosmetic science having undergraduate and graduate level training in cosmetic formulation, efficacy and safety. BTBU also has had a close connection to the sFDA in understanding in vitro methods for safety and efficacy. IIVS scientists provided lectures and a hands-on laboratory demonstration for the BCOP assay. The BCOP assay was conducted using high-quality, locally-sourced bovine corneas. Over 25 students and faculty attended the lectures and demonstration. This was the first step in establishing BTBU as a fully functional in vitro laboratory for evaluating the safety and efficacy of cosmetic ingredients and formulations.


This training was funded through support of IIVS and our International Outreach Program (IOP). Additional support was provided by BASF, through donations of opacitometers for BCOP (see story right), and by PETA for support to the BTBU lab with equipment necessary necessary for conducting accurate in vitro assessments. With this funding IIVS was able to provide quality training at BTBU and has been asked to return to China provide further guidance and training. Further training at these laboratories, as well as at additional sites in China, is being planned for 2013.
IIVS Wins the First LUSH Cosmetics Prize for Training!

Erin receives LUSH prize
 Erin Hill accepts the prize on behalf of all IIVS staff performing international training activities.

Designed to accelerate the date when products and chemicals are no longer tested on animals, the LUSH prize recognizes individuals or organizations who have excelled in establishing training programs to make scientists aware of the range of available non-animal testing methods.IIVS received the first annual Lush Training Prize during an award ceremony in London on November 15. The prize is a joint project between the global handmade cosmetics company and Ethical Consumer magazine. "At IIVS we believe the change to non-animal testing methods will be hastened through education and training. Seeing, touching, using these methods firsthand and understanding the results will change perceptions and practices," said Erin Hill, Vice President of IIVS, during the awards ceremony in London. "Our trainings change the fuzzy image of 'alternatives' into the reality of better science and the removal of animal pain and suffering." IVS shares the award with InterNICHE, an international network focusing on animal use and alternatives within biological sciences, medical and veterinary medical education.

News & Upcoming Events
IIVS Shares Poster Award at EPAA Meeting 

The 2012 Poster Recognition Award, restricted to industry applicants, was given to a poster co-authored by IIVS entitled: Pre-validation of the Reconstructed 3D Human Skin Micronucleus and Comet Assays. Eight organizations cooperated in these studies, financed primarily by Cosmetics Europe, to develop genotoxicity assays that would assist in addressing the EU ban on the animal testing of cosmetics products or ingredients, or the marketing of animal-tested cosmetics products. Please click here to view the poster. 

15 Years Out: Reinventing ICCVAM 
In an article published in Environmental Health Perspectives, Linda Birnbaum, Director of NTP and NIEHS, explains new changes in the direction of ICCVAM, the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods. ICCVAM is made up of representatives from stakeholder agencies across the US government and is tasked with addressing the regulatory acceptance of new toxicological test methods. Historically ICCVAM has been directed by NIEHS. Moving forward, the agencies themselves will set the direction for ICCVAM's efforts. It is hoped that direction from the various branches of government will create more opportunities for ICCVAM to promote alternative assays and strategies that are important to its stakeholders. Click here to read the entire article "15 Years Out: Reinventing ICCVAM".

52nd Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology 
March 10-14, 2013
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, TX, USA
For more information on IIVS' involvement in the meeting, visit our SOT 2013 information page.

Satellite Meeting at SOT: Updates on 21st Century Toxicology Activities and Related Efforts 
March 13, 2013
Grand Hyatt Presidio Room, San Antonio, TX

British Toxicology Soceity Annual Congress 2013 
April 7, 2013

NC3Rs Math Study Group Applying Mathematics to 3Rs Problems 
April 15-18, 2013
Central London, UK

In Vitro Testing Industrial Platform (IVTIP) Spring 2013 Meeting 
May 14-May 16, 2013
Southhampton, UK

Advances in In Vitro Cell and Tissue Culture 
May 21, 2013
Liverpool, England



Dr. Manfred Liebsch of ZEBET   


IIVS would like to congratulate Dr. Manfred Liebsch of ZEBET (German Centre for the Documentation and Evaluation of Alternatives to Animal Experiements) on his distinguished career and recent retirement. Dr. Liebsch has worked for the ZEBET since 1990. In 1994 he was appointed Deputy Head and in 2004 became Head of the ZEBET Unit within BfR which focuses on experimental and assessment work. In these capacities he has contributed to a large number of national and international projects and studies for the successful scientific development and validation of in vitro methods. His focus has been on the development of alternative methods in the field of phototoxicity, acute systemic toxicity as well as acute skin and eye toxicity. He is recognised for both his scientific work on in vitro methods and his ongoing commitment to enforce the 3Rs Principles (Refine, Reduce, Replace) of the alternative methods on a political level. 


Visit us at SOT

Booth #1226  


Find us in San Antonio
March 10-14 at the Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting. IIVS staff will participate in Continuing Education  courses, present posters, and exhibit during the ToxExpo. Contact us now to set up a convenient meeting time with one of our Study Directors to discuss your
in vitro testing needs. 
Click here to view the complete IIVS SOT schedule 


Would you like to learn more about IIVS' technical capabilities or training opportunities? Send us an email or visit our web-site at

 (301) 947-6523 
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BASF logo

BASF Supports IIVS International Training Programs Through Donation of Equipment


IIVS would like to thank BASF for their support of our recent training activities in China. Their donation of opacitometer kits (used for performing the BCOP assay for ocular irritation) facilitated the training at Xi'an, Beijing, and Guangzhou, China (see story left)."The three BASF opacitometer kits allowed our staff to rapidly train Chinese scientists and regulators using state-of-the art equipment," commented Dr. Rodger Curren, President of IIVS.


The In Vitro Testing Industrial Platform Announces a  

 Call For Abstracts
 The next IVTIP meeting  
"2013: State of the Art on Alternatives from an Industrial Point of View: Ready for Regulation?"
will be held in Southampton (UK) on May 14-16, 2013. Authors wishing to submit an abstract should send it to

Deadline for submission is March 29, 2013.

Please visit  the
for full meeting and abstract formatting requirements.


European Union's Ban on Animal Testing for Cosmetics to Begin in March

On March 11, 2013 the EU's ban on the import and sale of cosmetics and ingredients tested on animals is expected to go into effect. In a Time article, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg, confirmed that there are no additional postponements or derogations to the law planned. Many animal welfare organizations welcome the ban and hope it will lead to similar legislation worldwide.

FRAME launches PiLAS - Perspectives in Laboratory Animal Science

 As a new supplement to the ATLA journal, PiLAS aims to improve the quality of discussion surrounding the debate on animal testing and the 3Rs. The new initiative will offer professionals in all relevant fields an opportunity to share their expertise, knowledge and ideas concerning the scientific, ethical, economic and logistical issues raised by laboratory animal use.


The supplement will be available for free via the ATLA website (insert link). Please follow the link to view the supplement or submit topics for discussion.

The OECD has released a document detailing all of the recent work performed during OECD working group meetings and the current and projected status of test guideline modifications and revisions for the coming year. Of specific interest to the in vitro community are:

Planned updates on test guidelines 430 and 431 (dealing with
in vitro skin corrosion)

The proposal to create new guidelines for the following assays: skin irritation using LabCyte EPI-Model24, Fluorescein Leakage, Cytosensor Microphysiometer, and the KeratinoSens assay

The creation of guidance documents for use with the currently available skin irritation test guidelines.

ASCCT Banner

American Society for Cellular and

Computational Toxicology


Visit us at SOT

Booth #1067 


Sign up for a new membership and receive two years for the price of one!  



Next Member Webinar:


"The Role of Non-Animal Methods in the Regulation of Nanomaterials in the United States"

Presented by Erik Janus, Steptoe & Johnson LLP


February 28, 2013

2:00 PM ET