Chemical safety and biosafety

Developmental neurotoxicity: OECD/EFSA experts discuss non-animal test methods


Fifty-nine participants from 15 countries attended a workshop on “Developmental Neurotoxicity (DNT): the use of non-animal test methods for regulatory purposes” on 18 October 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. The event, co-organised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), focused on opportunities and challenges related to alternative methods for testing and assessing the DNT potential of chemicals.


Regulators, scientists, epidemiologists and industry shared knowledge on the latest advances in the field of in vitro assays development and on building a testing battery for DNT. There was consensus that current data requirements for DNT testing are insufficient for identifying potentially hazardous compounds and that there is a need for an appropriate in vitro testing battery.


The workshop agreed on a testing battery of mechanistically relevant in vitro assays that can be used immediately to generate relevant data, and as a first screening step for prioritisation in the regulatory context.


It was also agreed that further work will be needed at the OECD to develop guidance for interpretation of data derived from the battery in context-dependent Integrated Approach to Testing and Assessment. In the longer term, it is expected that in vitro test guidelines can be developed, with a view to achieving a harmonised approach to their regulatory use across countries.


Crucially, a research budget will be needed to generate data supporting the future regulatory use of the in vitro testing battery.


More information on the OECD/EFSA Workshop on Developmental Neurotoxicity (DNT): The use of non-animal test methods for regulatory purposes. The workshop report will be issued later in 2016. 


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