Report on the 1st KoCVAM International Symposium and 6th Congress of the KSAAE

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In the Spotlight

Report on the 1st KoCVAM International Symposium and 6th Congress of the KSAAE

William Stokes, US NIEHS

Published: January 19, 2010

[Editor’s note: This is the second report on recent alternatives activity in the Pacific Rim. Our first report was on the recent annual meeting of the Japanese Society for Alternatives to Animal Experiments.]
The Korean Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods (KoCVAM) was recently established in South Korea as part of the National Institute of Food and Drug Safety (NIFDS) in the Korean Food and Drug Administration. An inaugural KoCVAM International Symposium was convened to recognize the formal establishment of KoCVAM. The Symposium was held in conjunction with the Sixth Congress of the Korean Society for Alternatives to Animal Experimentation (KSAAE) at Seoul National University in Seoul, South Korea, on November 3. The KSAAE was founded in collaboration with industry, academia, and government to facilitate the research and development of alternative test methods in Korea.

Dr. Dong Sup Kim, President of the KSAAE, provided an opening address and, along with Dr. Youngsook Son from Kyung Hee University, served as Chairperson. Dr. Seung-Hee Kim, NIFDS Director General, provided a congratulatory address. Dr. Soojung Sohn from KoCVAM was the Symposium Coordinator.

Dr. Soon Young Han, Director of KoCVAM, provided an introduction to KoCVAM and its initial activities and goals. Dr. Han, who is also the Director of the Department of Toxicological Evaluation and Research within the NIFDS, noted that KoCVAM will make scientific contributions to aid in the global expansion of alternative test methods. NIFDS is a specialized national research institute that conducts scientific research to better ensure the safety and efficacy of food and drugs.

Dr. William Stokes, Director of the NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM), presented a talk on “Validation and Regulatory Acceptance of Alternative Methods for Safety Testing: Recent Progress and Future Directions.” He emphasized the need for high quality scientific validation studies for proposed new safety test methods as a prerequisite for regulatory acceptance and use, and highlighted new technologies and scientific advances that are expected to support the future development of more predictive safety tests.

Dr. Hajime Kojima, Director of the Japanese Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods (JaCVAM), reviewed the organization and activities of JaCVAM, which was established in 2005. All of the speakers addressed the importance and advantages of strengthening international cooperation in the validation and evaluation of alternative test methods, and emphasized how such cooperation could help expedite international adoption of new test methods.

Following the International Symposium, the 6th Congress of the KSAAE continued with a session on Validation of Test Methods in Korea, chaired by Dr. Young-Jin Chun from Chung-Ang University and Dr. Sohn from KoCVAM/NIFDS. Dr. Ki Kyung Jung from NIFDS spoke on International Validation Processes on the Steriodogenesis Assay. Dr. Young-Shin Chung from Medville Co., Ltd spoke on the Development and Prevalidation of in vitro Skin Sensitization Tests Using a Human Monocytic cell line and Human Skin Equivalent Co-Culture.

The final session on Application of Innovative Technology for Safety Assessment was chaired by Dr. Jae-Hak Park from Seoul National University and Dr. Kui Lea Park from the NIFDS. Dr. Kyoung Tai No from Yonsei University spoke about toxicity prediction using quantitative systems biology. Dr. Hyun-Ok Ku from the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service spoke about applications of differential gene and cytokine expressions for discriminating between irritants and sensitizers or contact and respiratory sensitizers in a modified Local Lymph Node Assay. The day concluded with a poster session and reception.

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