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Guidance for Community Blog readers and contributors

The AltTox Community Blog replaced the AltTox Forum February 2015. The messages in the archived AltTox Forum, however, are still available for reading.

AltTox.org users are welcome to browse and read Community Blog messages. Only registered users, however, can post messages directly to the blog.

Blog User Agreement for registered users:
  • appropriate content includes scientific and policy news related to in vitro and in silico methods for toxicity testing, meeting announcements, funding information, and other relevant information
  • the Blog is moderated, and messages beyond the scope of AltTox or otherwise inappropriate will be removed
  • copyrighted material will not be posted without permission
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  • messages posted by external parties express the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of AltTox team members or AltTox sponsors; AltTox does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information presented by external parties

Please report offensive or inappropriate content to info@alttox.org

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September Issue of the ECHA Newsletter

Contributor: Sherry Ward, AltTox The latest issue of the ECHA Newsletter  includes an article on the substitution of harmful chemicals with safer alternatives. “Looking at a different approach to substitution, ECHA Newsletter spoke with Dr Joel A. Tickner, Director and Associate Professor of Community Health and Sustainability from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, who has […]
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Award for Adverse Outcome Pathway Development

Contributor: Katherine Groff, PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) collaboratively created the AOP Wiki to provide the international scientific community an interactive encyclopedia for AOP development. Working with AOP Wiki organisers, the PETA International […]
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FRAME Training School dates announced

Contributor: Anne Jeffery, FRAME Details of the next FRAME Training School in experimental design and statistical analysis have been released.  It will be held in Voss, Norway from 1-3 February, 2016. When scientists carry out experiments it is vitally important they are well designed,otherwise they may waste resources or give the wrong answers. This is especially […]
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NIH call for proposals: Collaborative Projects to Accelerate Research in Organ Fibrosis

Contributor: Sherry Ward, AltTox Collaborative Projects to Accelerate Research in Organ Fibrosis (R01) (RFA-HL-16-003): http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HL-16-003.html Due Dates: October 22, 2015 and October 21, 2016 Purpose: While fibrogenesis is an essential process in normal wound healing, aberrant and relentless fibrogenesis in vital organs such as heart, lung, kidney, and bone marrow can lead to debilitating symptoms […]
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Request for information and nominations of experts for peer review on systematic review of immunotoxicity associated with PFOA or PFOS exposure

Contributor: Sherry Ward, AltTox Source: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/08/14/2015-20122/systematic-review-of-immunotoxicity-associated-with-exposure-to-pfoa-or-pfos-request-for-information Background: PFOA and PFOS are persistent chemicals that are widely distributed in the environment in part because of high stability and little to no expected degradation in the environment. In terms of toxicity and exposure, PFOA and PFOS are the best studied perfluoroalkyl acids, a group of compounds used […]
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New issue of CSS Pathways from the US EPA

Contributor: Sherry Ward, AltTox The August 2015 issues of CSS Pathways (http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-08/documents/august_2015_css_pathways_external.pdf) reports many developments in chemical safety research and testing by US EPA researchers. Several approaches to assessing potential endocrine disruptors are reported: EPA introduces new technology to screen chemicals for endocrine disruption High-throughput model predicts estrogen receptor activity Advancing methods to evaluate thyroid […]
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HeMiBio Project Symposium

Contributor: Stéphanie Rémola, HeMiBio Management Team In January 2011 the European Commission and Cosmetics Europe jointly launched a European research initiative aiming at a common strategy towards the replacement of current repeated dose systemic toxicity testing in human safety assessment. The aim of HeMiBio as part of this initiative was to generate a liver-simulating device […]
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Agenda Available for Sept. 2 SACATM Meeting

Contributor: Catherine Sprankle, NICEATM The Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) will meet on September 2 in the Rodbell Auditorium at NIEHS. SACATM is the advisory committee to ICCVAM. Topics to be discussed at the September 2 meeting include updates on recent activities from NICEATM and ICCVAM member agencies; international interactions and current […]
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NIH Presents Conference for Small Business Grant Applicants

Contributor: Catherine Sprankle, NICEATM The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Conference will be held in Seattle, Washington, on October 27–29. This event is the largest annual conference for SBIR/STTR applicants. Presentations will provide overviews of Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) SBIR/STTR programs, funding opportunities, […]
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Links to recently published OECD in vitro test guidelines

Contributor: Kate Willett, HSUS Here are links to four recently published OECD in vitro test guidelines: Test No. 490: In Vitro Mammalian Cell Gene Mutation Tests Using the Thymidine Kinase Gene http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/environment/test-no-490-in-vitro-mammalian-cell-gene-mutation-tests-using-the-thymidine-kinase-gene_9789264242241-en;jsessionid=22dh652p3oaq6.x-oecd-live-02 Test No. 491: Short Time Exposure In Vitro Test Method for Identifying i) Chemicals Inducing Serious Eye Damage and ii) Chemicals Not Requiring […]
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NIEHS Funding Opportunities and Resources

Contributor: Catherine Sprankle, NICEATM The National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) invites qualified small businesses to apply for the following grant opportunities: Early Stage Development of Technologies in Biomedical Computing, Informatics, and Big Data Science: applications due Sept. 5, 2015; Jan. 5, 2016; and April 5, 2016. View Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant […]
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Sept. 10 FDA Public Meeting to Prepare for International Cooperation on Cosmetics Regulation Meeting

Contributor: Sherry Ward, AltTox Source: http://www.fda.gov/Food/NewsEvents/ConstituentUpdates/ucm454464.htm?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will hold a public meeting on September 10, 2015 to receive input from the public on various topics pertaining to the regulation of cosmetics to help the agency prepare for the International Cooperation on Cosmetics Regulation-9 (ICCR-9) meeting that will be held November […]
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Two new CRACK IT Challenges announced

Contributor: Sherry Ward, AltTox Source: http://www.crackit.org.uk/crackit-news/2015-crack-it-challenges-announced-0 The 2015 CRACK IT Challenges competition consists of two Challenges identified jointly by the NC3Rs and Sponsors. This year the competition is funded by the NC3Rs and Dstl and supported by Innovate UK (SBRI) with in-kind contribution from the Sponsors. There are five Sponsors (Unilever, GlaxoSmithKline, Stiefel, Dstl, and […]
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Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions workshop: Interindividual Variability: New Ways to Study and Implications for Decision-Making

Contributor: Solmaz Spence, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Within any population, factors such as heritable characteristics, stress, body weight, and genetics can influence the type and degree of response that people may have to environmental stressors. Accounting for this interindividual variability is a challenge for decision makers tasked with setting chemical safety regulations. […]
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NIH Invites Comments and Suggestions on a Framework for the NIH-Wide Strategic Plan

Contributor: Catherine Sprankle, NICEATM In order to advance its mission, NIH is developing an NIH-wide Strategic Plan. The goal of this 5-year plan is to outline a vision for biomedical research that ultimately extends healthy life and reduces illness and disability. NIH senior leadership and staff have developed a proposed framework for the Strategic Plan […]
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Report Outlines Predictive Toxicology Approach for Defense Applications

Contributor: Catherine Sprankle, NICEATM The National Academies Press has issued a report on “Application of Modern Toxicology Approaches for Predicting Acute Toxicity for Chemical Defense.” Prepared in response to a request by the U.S. Department of Defense, the report provides a conceptual approach that could be used to evaluate chemicals that could pose threats to […]
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New FDA report: Science Moving Forward, A Progress Report to the FDA Science Board

Contributor: Sherry Ward, AltTox “Modernize Toxicology to Enhance Product Safety” is the first of the FDA’s 9 Scientific Priority Areas described on page 11 of the FDA’s new report, Science Moving Forward, A Progress Report to the FDA Science Board (http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ScienceResearch/AboutScienceResearchatFDA/UCM456328.pdf). Intramural research on a non-animal approach includes the example on page 28 where “a […]
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Call for short proposals

Contributor: Amy J. Clippinger, PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. (PISC) and MatTek Corporation are offering 3D reconstructed human tissue models – for free! MatTek’s human cell-based tissues—including dermal, ocular, respiratory, intestinal, oral, and vaginal models—are used for regulatory safety testing, product development, and basic research applications. Researchers who can […]
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ECHA follows up on registrants’ obligations to consider alternative tests

Contributor: Sherry Ward, AltTox Source: ECHA News http://echa.europa.eu/view-article/-/journal_content/title/echa-follows-up-on-registrants-obligations-to-consider-alternative-tests ECHA has analysed why registrants submitted 295 new higher tier studies on vertebrate animals without first seeking the Agency’s decision to permit such tests. In general, registrants were able to clarify why the new studies were conducted and submitted for registration purposes. However, in a number of cases […]
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Chemical Aquatic Fate and Effects (CAFE) Database released by NOAA

Contributor: Sherry Ward, AltTox Sources: ECETOC (http://www.ecetoc.org/index.php?mact=Newsroom,cntnt01,details,0&cntnt01documentid=285&cntnt01returnid=76) and NOAA (http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/cafe) The Chemical Aquatic Fate and Effects (CAFE) database (http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/oil-and-chemical-spills/chemical-spills/response-tools/download-install-and-run-cafe.html) is a software program you can use to estimate the fate and effects of thousands of chemicals, oils, and dispersants. CAFE serves as a tool to help responders in their assessment of environmental impacts from chemical […]
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The 3Rs-Centre Utrecht Life Sciences continues NKCA activities

Contributor: Jan van der Valk, 3Rs Centre-Utrech Life Sciences For 4 years (2010-2014) the Netherlands Knowledge Centre on Alternatives (NKCA) was responsible for promoting the application of the 3R-alternatives – replacement, reduction and refinement – in the Netherlands. The Centre, which was a collaboration between the RIVM and the Utrecht University, was established by the […]
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Preclinical Assays Needed to Predict Vaccine Efficacy

Contributor: Sherry Ward, AltTox Source: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/researchfunding/newsletter/2015/Pages/0715.aspx#or02 Promising preclinical data for a candidate vaccine does not guarantee efficacy in phase II/III clinical trials. Thus, NIAID seeks novel preclinical assays capable of better predicting the likelihood of success in human clinical studies based on preclinical outcomes. As researchers continue to identify new potential markers of protection, new […]
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NIEHS Offers Financial Support for Later Stages of Test Method Development

Contributor: Catherine Sprankle, NICEATM The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) will provide additional support to current federal grantees for validation and commercialization of replacement or reduction alternatives to tests required by U.S. government agencies. These Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase IIB awards will support further development of non-clinical toxicology tests for use […]
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Open position at PCRM: Science Policy Specialist

Contributor: Kristie Sullivan, PCRM The Physicians Committee is looking for a Science Policy Specialist to join our team. The ideal candidate for this position will have a basic knowledge of toxicological and pharmacological concepts including in vivo, in vitro, and in silico test methods and familiarity with the laws, regulations, and practices related to efficacy […]
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Introduction to Complexity – free, online course starts today

Contributor: Sherry Ward, AltTox The free and online course by the Santa Fe Institute, “Introduction to Complexity” (http://www.complexityexplorer.org), begins today. The purpose of this course is to help registrants learn about the tools used by scientists to understand complex systems. This is an introductory course and there are no math or other prerequisites. To see […]
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NIH Announces Strategy to Improve Reproducibility of Funded Research

Contributor: Sherry Ward, AltTox Source: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/researchfunding/newsletter/2015/Pages/0701.aspx#itn01 “In an effort to advance the highest level of scientific integrity, NIH has unveiled a strategy to improve the reproducibility of the research it funds in two June 9, 2015 Guide notices: Enhancing Reproducibility Through Rigor and Transparency and Consideration of Sex as a Biological Variable in NIH-Funded Research. […]
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ICCVAM Advisory Committee to Meet September 2

Contributor: Catherine Sprankle, NICEATM ICCVAM’s advisory committee, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods, will hold its annual meeting on September 2 in the Rodbell Auditorium at NIEHS in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. You must preregister to attend the meeting in person; the meeting will also be webcast. An agenda, other materials, and […]
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USDA Requests Comments on Petition to Revise Animal Use Reporting Requirements

Contributor: Catherine Sprankle, NICEATM The Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) has received a petition from the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) to increase the level of detail in information collected from research facilities in their reports on animal use. NAVS is asking that the annual report required under the Animal […]
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NIH Updates Solicitation for SBIR/STTR Grant Applications

Contributor: Catherine Sprankle, NICEATM The NIH has updated the solicitation announcement for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant applications. The NIEHS section has been updated to include a section on “Toxicity Screening, Testing, and Modeling,” which states an interest in “technologies to improve predictivity in toxicology testing to support […]
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EPA Federal Register notice and opportunity for comment on its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program

Contributor: Sherry Ward, AltTox The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a Federal Register notice and opportunity for comment on its Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. Below is just a small part of the notice’s content. Source: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPPT-2015-0305-0001 Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OPPT-2015-0305 Abstract: Federal Register for Friday, June 19, 2015 (80 FR 35350) (FRL–9928–69 ) Use of […]
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Submit an Abstract for ASCCT 4th Annual Meeting

Contributor: Kristie Sullivan, PCRM Registration and abstract submission for the 4th Annual ASCCT Meeting are now open. Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment: Promises and Challenges of a More Flexible Approach to Toxicology Testing October 1-2, 2015 Environmental Protection Agency, Durham, North Carolina, US Plenary Lectures: Moving Beyond One Test: Leveraging the Whole Toolbox for […]
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EPA seeks nominations for new Chemical Safety Advisory Committee on or before July 13, 2015

Contributor: Marilyn Matevia, HSUS The purpose of the Chemical Safety Advisory Committee is to provide expert scientific advice, information, and recommendations to the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (OPPT). The major objective is to provide advice and recommendations on: The scientific basis for risk assessments, methodologies, and pollution prevention measures or approaches. The EPA […]
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Board of Appeal agrees with PISC in ruling that may save 1300 animals

Author: Joseph Manuppello, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals The European Chemical Agency’s Board of Appeal today reversed a decision by ECHA that required CINIC CHEMICALS EUROPE, Sàrl to conduct an extended one generation reproductive toxicity study (EOGRTS). ECHA had refused to consider new information after a self-imposed deadline and updates to the registrant’s […]
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National Aeronautics and Space Administration [NASA] – Centennial Challenges Program – Tissue Engineering Challenge – Request for Information

Author: Sherry Ward, AltTox https://www.fbo.gov/?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=0905c3a33c88d0b702f92bcbe74479c1&_cview=0 Solicitation Number: NNM15ZZP006L Notice Type: public feedback is being sought – this is not a funding notice Synopsis: I. SUMMARY The Centennial Challenges Program is NASA’s flagship program for technology prize competitions (www.nasa.gov/challenges). The Centennial Challenges Program directly engages the public, academia, and industry in open prize competitions to stimulate […]
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CRACK IT Solutions: Partners sought to help develop and validate a portable bioluminescence test for botulinum neurotoxin

Author: Sherry Ward, AltTox “Researchers from University of Freiburg, Germany, are seeking partners to validate and commercialize their novel automated bioluminescence assay (BLBTest) for detecting botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) to replace mouse bioassays. What could the Solution be used for? The BLB-Test is a portable, highly sensitive, automated assay for detecting BoNT as a replacement for […]
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New EPA Guidance: Alternate Testing Framework for Classification of Eye Irritation Potential of EPA Pesticide Products

Author: Marilyn Matevia, HSUS The EPA has released updated guidance for testing antimicrobial cleaning products for their potential to cause eye irritation. From the EPA announcement: This updated guidance document, effective immediately, describes a testing framework for assessing eye irritation potential of EPA-registered antimicrobial cleaning products using three in vitro/ex vivo assays (non-animal tests): Bovine […]
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Innocentive Posts 2 Open Innovation Challenges for In Vitro Kidney Microphysiological Systems

Author: Sherry Ward, AltTox AstraZeneca Challenge: In Vitro Proximal Tubule Model Systems: Innocentive: https://www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933749 Challenge ID: 9933749 AWARD: $15,000 USD; DEADLINE: 6/26/15 “AstraZeneca is seeking innovative approaches to developing a model system of the proximal tubule in vitro. Ideally, the model should incorporate a self-contained microphysiological unit in which biologically appropriate media, fluid flow, and shear stress can […]
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Lush Prize 2015 open for nominations

Author: Craig Redmond, Lush Prize Team The Lush Prize 2015 is now open for nominations. This £250,000 (€300,000) annual prize fund rewards recent outstanding initiatives to end animal testing, particularly in the area of toxicology. It is divided into five prize categories: Science, Training, Young Researcher (under 35 years old), Lobbying and Public Awareness. £50,000 […]
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The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd and Chemical Watch to present the final in a series of free webinars on alternatives to animal testing for REACH

Author: Amy J. Clippinger, PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. The final PETA International Science Consortium Ltd/Chemical Watch webinar, “The Regulatory Processes Involved in Acceptance of Non-Animal Tests,” will be presented by Derek Knight and Karin Kilian on 10 June 2015 at 10am Eastern Daylight Time. Derek Knight (Senior Scientific Advisor, ECHA) will speak about regulatory […]
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Recent articles from ECHA explain approaches to minimize animal testing for REACH

Author: Sherry Ward, AltTox The February and April 2015 ECHA Newsletters as well as other recent articles on the ECHA website include information that could assist companies in minimizing animal testing for REACH reporting requirements. In a November 2014 AltTox article (http://alttox.org/cosmetics-regulation-animal-test-ban-declared-subordinate-reach-registration-testing-requirements-echa/), we had cited a statement from the October 2014 ECHA Newsletter that said […]
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“21st Century Understanding of Chemicals” briefing

Author: Sherry Ward, AltTox Six videos from the April 6, 2015 Congressional briefing organized by the American Chemical Society (ACS) Science & the Congress Project, ACS Corporation Associates, and the American Political Science Association (http://www.congressplus.com/events/index.cfm?action=Event_Page&eventcode=ZxyVwS&bypass=true) are now available for viewing at https://vimeo.com/album/3323655.
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NAVS Humane Science Award Recipients at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

Author: Sherry Ward, AltTox NAVS Selects 2015 Humane Science Award Recipients at Intel ISEF May 18, 2015 Source: http://www.navs.org/science-first/2015-intel-international-science-and-engineering-fair Last week, NAVS attended the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair—the world’s largest international science competition for high school students—in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There, NAVS recognized three exceptional students with our Humane Science Award. For 14 years, […]
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Beyond Science and Decisions: From Problem Formulation to Dose-Response Assessment (Workshop 9)

Author: Lynne Haber, Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA) Beyond Science & Decisions – Workshop 9 June 9-10, 2015 Cincinnati, Ohio – University of Cincinnati, Kettering Laboratory Auditorium Almost 60 organizations have come together under the aegis of the Alliance for Risk Assessment (ARA), to conduct a series of meetings, with the ultimate goal of […]
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USDA APHIS NOTICE: VS Memorandum 800.112 Guidelines for Validation of In Vitro Potency Assays

Author: Sherry Ward, AltTox The Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB) recently added [05/07/2015] VS Memo 800.112 to its website, which may be accessed by clicking the following link: CVB Newly Published Information (http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth?1dmy&urile=wcm%3apath%3a%2Faphis_content_library%2Fsa_our_focus%2Fsa_animal_health%2Fsa_vet_biologics%2Fct_vb_newly_published_info). This memorandum provides guidance concerning the information a firm should provide when submitting a new potency assay for consideration by the Center for Veterinary Biologics […]
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