17 August 2021
Key team members of our BioMed21 collaboration will participate in panels and roundtables at WC11 –the 11th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences – scheduled for August 23rd-September 2nd. The staging of WC11 as a virtual event has made it possible for team members from around the world to play a part in this triennial event, originally scheduled for summer 2020. With over 100 parallel sessions, 30 exhibitors and sponsors and more than 500 e-posters, it promises to be just as vibrant and busy for participants as if it were a real-life event!
The BioMed21 collaboration is well represented at WC11. Check our schedule to find out where we are and join our sessions! Dr Brinda Poojary, our biomedical science advisor based in India, will take part in a panel discussion focused on progress in the removal of animal-based safety and toxicity tests required during vaccine production, part of a larger global harmonization initiative. This complements our efforts which culminated in the removal of the Abnormal Toxicity Test (ATT) from both the European and Indian versions of the Pharmacopoeia.
Dr Marcia Triunfol, our biomedical science advisor based in Portugal, will host a roundtable to address the issue of publication bias- in which papers submitted with in vitro data are required to generate additional (often unnecessary) in vivo data as a condition of publication. We have featured this concern in a series of BioMed21 blogs – interviews with Dr Don Ingber of the Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering; Dr Laura Gribaldo from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and with Prof Dr Hans Clevers of the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. Dr Ingber, who has written extensively on this topic- calling for Reviewer 3 to request human organ chip experiments instead of animal validation studies – will be part of this panel, along with Dr Gribaldo and Dr Nicole Kleinstreuer, currently Acting Director of the National Toxicology Program Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM).
Dr Bianca Marigliani, our biomedical and regulatory science specialist in Brazil, will discuss her poster examining the frequency with which animal-derived products are used in so-called animal-free assays. Her research revealed that there is a continued reliance on products, such as fetal bovine serum, that carry ethical issues while also affecting assay reproducibility as a consequence of, for example, extensive batch-to-batch variability.
Dr Lindsay Marshall, our UK-based biomedical science advisor, will speak about her contribution to the European Commission Joint Research Centre’s project to develop a comprehensive knowledge source of non-animal models for respiratory tract diseases. In other presentations, she will discuss the projects and objectives of BioMed21 (the Biomedical Research for the 21st Century Collaboration) and describe what is needed to fully embrace non-animal approaches to biomedical research in order to allow total animal replacement.
In the roundtable session “Asia: A place ripe for the development of 21st century science” you can hear more about the latest advances in non-animal approaches from two of our specialists. Dr Surat Parvatam, senior research associate with the Centre for Predictive Human Model Systems – an initiative of HSI India and the Atal Incubation Centre – Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology – will share her views on what is needed to ensure that India reaches its potential for animal-free innovation. In addition, our senior policy specialist based in South Korea, Borami Seo will describe her efforts to introduce new legislation – the Promotion of Development, Dissemination and Use of Alternatives to Animal Testing Methods (PAAM Act) – that aims to prioritise the use of human-relevant technologies.
In addition to this, you can “visit” poster sessions to hear more about our US-focused work. Pat Bishop is presenting her work to decipher whether dogs are still needed for pesticide safety testing, Barry Londeree will discuss what is required to promote adoption of dogs and cats after their time in the lab, Mary Hilley will present data on enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act and Lindsay will present her analysis of National Institutes of Health-funded research using dogs.
Finally, we’ll be involved in several sessions discussing our work to replace animals in cosmetics and other chemical safety testing, part of our sister initiative, the Animal Free Safety Assessment Collaboration (AFSA). We’re involved with plenty of posters, too! Check out the conference programme to find out where to catch us and please log on, participate, and speak with us – we look forward to seeing you at WC11, and we look forward to further collaboration in our shared mission of promoting non-animal, human-relevant approaches to biomedical research!
Attending WC11? Let us know which session(s) you are most looking forward to!