ICCVAM holds annual public forums to share information and facilitate direct communication of ideas and suggestions from stakeholders. At the May 24 meeting, nearly 40 attendees and about 60 webcast viewers heard presentations by ICCVAM members on current activities related to the development and validation of alternative test methods and approaches. ICCVAM member agencies providing updates on activities included the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Interior, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Suzanne Fitzpatrick, FDA, and Gino Scarano, EPA, described strategic plans developed by their agencies to promote the use of non-animal methods, while Rick Paules, acting chief of the NTP Biomolecular Screening Branch, described the updated Tox21 strategic plan and goals for the program’s next five years.
A main focus of this year’s meeting was implementation of the strategic roadmap for establishing new approaches to evaluate the safety of chemicals and medical products in the United States. NICEATM Deputy Director Nicole Kleinstreuer summarized ongoing implementation activities in the areas of skin sensitization and acute systemic toxicity, while Jill Merrill, FDA, described activities relevant to skin and eye irritation testing. Public comments submitted to the meeting focused largely on the strategic roadmap. Commenters offered suggestions on specific actions that should be taken to advance the goals of the strategic roadmap, and encouraged agencies that have been less active in ICCVAM activities to take a greater role.
ICCVAM activities will also be discussed at the September 5-6 meeting of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods, to be held at NIEHS. Information about that and other upcoming NICEATM events is available at https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/3Rs-wksps.