Physicians and Scientists Form New Scientific Society to Promote Nonanimal Testing
PCRM and the Institute for In Vitro Sciences Inc., in Gaithersburg, Md., have formed a new scientific society to promote the research, development, and routine use of nonanimal toxicological testing methods. The American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology is the first scientific society in North America devoted to such a mission.
Currently, drugs, chemicals, pesticides, and some consumer products are tested for human safety in animals. The animals in these tests are subjected to painful procedures and killed, and the test results are not always predictive of human responses to drugs or chemicals. While some nonanimal tests have been developed and more are in development, more research is needed to replace animals in toxicity testing. Even once a new nonanimal method is developed, work is often needed to ensure the method is used by companies and accepted by regulatory agencies.
The American Society for Cellular and Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) will help overcome these barriers and hasten the replacement of animal-based toxicology tests by facilitating collaboration and open dialogue between industry, academic, advocacy, and regulatory scientists at regular meetings and activities. The society will also strive to include the participation of young scientists to ensure that the next generation of scientists and regulators understands how to use and interpret nonanimal methods and data derived from them.
The Institute for In Vitro Sciences Inc. and PCRM were inspired to create the ASCCT by the surge of interest in toxicology since the publication of Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy, a 2007 National Academy of Sciences report calling for a new toxicity testing strategy based on human cells and tissues instead of animals.