The European Union Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM) has received a Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) accreditation from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for its work in developing alternative methods and approaches.
Formally established last year due to the increasing need for new methods to be proposed for validation in the EU, the lab is active in testing topical, systemic and strategic toxicity activities.
The OECD, an intergovernmental organisation representing 29 industrialised countries in North America, Europe and the Pacific, offers the GLP award to labratories meeting its guidelines of uniformity, consistency, reliability, reproducibility, quality, and integrity of non-clinical safety tests for chemicals from physio-chemical properties to kinetic and dynamic toxicity.
The European Commission's involvement in activities targeted to the validation of alternative approaches to animal testing started in 1991, with the launch of ECVAM (the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods), hosted by the Joint Research Centre, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP).
EURL ECVAM has a long since practised in the validation of methods which reduce, refine or replace the use of animals for safety testing and efficacy/potency testing of chemicals, biologicals and vaccines.
Research laboratories are also able to submit to EURL ECVAM for scientific validation the alternative methods to animal testing that they have developed.
Other labs paving the way...
Earlier this year UK-based Evocutis announced it was opening a new dedicated Skin Histology Laboratory at its site in Yorkshire to aid in the development of animal testing alternatives.
The new lab ties in with the company's existing portfolio of skin care development services in laboratory and clinical testing and is particularly integrated with the LabSkin in vitro skin model production and testing facility, which enables customers to conduct animal-free assessments of their ingredients and products.
Then Dr Richard Bojar, chief scientific officer said, “The dedicated Skin Histology Laboratory allows interactive, real-time experimentation which provides customers with innovative and valuable data to support their product development."
“Evocutis' on-going R&D program to develop and expand the range of LabSkin models as a platform for testing skin care products will enable the Skin Histology Laboratory to provide further services in the future," he added.