In Vitro Testing Industrial Platform

Alternative methods to animal testing: ready for regulation?

Rachel Ashton a, Bart De Wever b, Horst W. Fuchs c, Marianna Gaca d, Erin Hill e, Cyrille Krul f, Albrecht Poth g and Erwin L. Roggen h

a Ashton Editorial Consulting, London, UK
b ALTEXA Development, Columbia Palace, 11, Avenue Princesse Grace, Monte Carlo 98000, Monaco
c CellSystems, Biotechnologie Vertrieb GmbH, Langeler Ring 5, D-53842 Troisdorf, Germany
d British American Tobacco, G&D Centre, Regents Park Road, Southampton SO15 8TL, United Kingdom
e IIVS, 30 West Watkins Mill Road Suite 100 Gaithersburg, MD 20878, USA
f TNO, Healthy Living, Utrechtseweg 48, 3704 HE Zeist, Netherlands
g Harlan Cytotest Cell Research GmbH, In den Leppsteinswiesen 19, 64380 Roßdorf, Germany
h Novozymes AS, Krogshoejvej 36, 2880 Bagsvaerd, Denmark 

Corresponding author:
Dr Bart De Wever
ALTEXA Development, Columbia Palace, 11, Avenue Princesse Grace, Monte Carlo 98000, Monaco 
Phone: +33.6.872.14.068

This paper has been published in the journal ‘ALTEX by Springer, the Official Journal of the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing. Volume 31, issue 3, 357-363, 2014, ISSN: 1868-596X,


Despite changing attitudes towards animal testing and current legislation to protect experimental animals, the rate of animal experiments seems to have changed little in recent years. On May 15–16, 2013, the In Vitro Testing Industrial Platform (IVTIP) held an open meeting to discuss the state of the art in alternative methods, how companies have, can and will need to adapt, and what drives and hinders regulatory acceptance and use. Several key messages arose from the meeting. First, industry and regulatory bodies should not wait for complete suites of alternative tests to become available, but should begin working with methods available right now (eg, mining of existing animal data to direct future studies, implementation of alternative tests wherever scientifically valid rather than continuing to rely on animal tests) in non-animal and animal integrated strategies to reduce the numbers of animals tested. Sharing of information (communication), harmonization and standardization (coordination), commitment and collaboration are all required to improve the quality and speed of validation, acceptance and implementation of tests. Finally, we consider how alternative methods can be used in research and development before formal implementation in regulations. Here we present the conclusions on what can be done already now and suggest some solutions and strategies for the future.

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