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The APSIS cluster hosted a  full-two day ASPIS Open Symposium on September 14 and 15, 2023, following the 57th Congress of the European Societies of Toxicology, EUROTOX, Ljubljana, Slovenia. The symposium showcased the latest work of the ASPIS cluster, comprising three Horizon 2020 consortia: ONTOX, PrecisionTox, and RISK-HUNT3R. The focus was on the implementation of New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) for chemical risk assessment. ALTERNATIVE WP2 partners, Martin Paparella from Medical University of Innsbruck and Sivakumar Murugadoss from Sciensano, actively participated in the event.

Day 1 commenced with a keynote presentation addressing socio-technical barriers to the uptake of NAMs in chemical risk assessment. This session explored potential obstacles and investigated whether they were predominantly technical or social in nature. An updated version of ASPA, outlining the initial next steps, was also presented, accompanied by a discussion on the definition of NAMs. Martin Paparella, contributed to the discourse by advocating for the definition of NAMs as “Non(protected)Animal Methods”. He emphasized that the prevailing NAM definition as “New Approach Methodology” ) encompasses refinement and reduction, making the  3R term redundant. Furthermore, he highlighted the ambiguity of the term “new”, which is time- dependent and can be highly subjective.

On the concluding day, the ASPIS Regulatory Forum, chaired by Julia M. Malinowska, successfully wrapped up with fruitful discussions between researchers and regulators. The focus was on the significance and application of standardization for NAMs in chemical safety assessment. The forum addressed misconceptions surrounding standards, delving into their definition, application, and the responsibility for standardization. Through presentations and audience interaction including ALTERNATIVE WP2 partners, the event identified appropriate standards and effective implementation strategies, aiming to accelerate the regulatory acceptance of NAMs and establish a lasting regulatory legacy for methodologies developed within the ASPIS cluster.

During the Symposium, Sivakumar Murugadoss also presented a poster titled “Innovative Non-Animal Based Testing Platform to Detect Chemical-Induced Cardiotoxicity – A Roadmap for Regulatory Uptake”. The poster was focused on the development of AOP network and IATA for cardiotoxicity.

Further information:

3R, NAMs, adverse outcome pathways, integrated approaches to testing and assessment, alternative methods, standardization

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