5 December 2019
The 2019 IABS Conference, dedicated to the challenges and priorities in implementing alternative methods to animal testing for vaccines, gathered together key experts from companies, regulators and international organizations, with a meaningful participation of local representatives.
The objective of the conference was the presentation of the advancements of the last 5 years in the development and regulatory acceptance of alternative methods to animal testing for batch release testing, plus a discussion on what still needs to be accomplished by manufacturers and regulators to transition to non animal-based testing strategies, particularly in developing countries.
A full day has been devoted to dedicated workshops, one focused on the specific needs of developing countries with regards to the implementation of alternative methods, and another on the concepts of validation, implementation, acceptance and harmonization. The discussion prompted a general acknowledgement that in order to improve the chances of investment in, and acceptance of alternative methods, both regulators and manufacturers ought to raise the level of mutual trust and exchange, a result which could be achieved by increased sharing of data, and clearer communication of needs and expectations, already from the early stages of product development or product/testing strategy variation. Participants from developing countries also used the opportunity to voice their need for more information, training, and support in building business case studies and scientific evidence for the transition to alternative methods.
Humane Society International co-sponsored the conference, supported its organization, and has been actively engaged in the discussions and exchanges during its two dense days.