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Standardisation of Defined Approaches for Skin Sensitisation Testing to Support Regulatory Use and International Adoption: Position of the International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods

Casati S, Aschberger K, Barroso J, Casey W, Delgado I, Kim TS, Kleinstreuer N, Kojima H, Lee JK, Lowit A, Park HK, Régimbald-Krnel MJ, Strickland J, Whelan M, Yang Y, Zuang V.
Archives of Toxicology (2017). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00204-017-2097-4 PMID: 29127450



Skin sensitisation is the regulatory endpoint that has been at the centre of concerted efforts to replace animal testing in recent years, as demonstrated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) adoption of five non-animal methods addressing mechanisms under the first three key events of the skin sensitisation adverse outcome pathway. Nevertheless, the currently adopted methods, when used in isolation, are not sufficient to fulfil regulatory requirements on the skin sensitisation potential and potency of chemicals comparable to that provided by the regulatory animal tests. For this reason, a number of defined approaches integrating data from these methods with other relevant information have been proposed and documented by the OECD. With the aim to further enhance regulatory consideration and adoption of defined approaches, the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal testing in collaboration with the International Cooperation on Alternative Test Methods hosted, on 4–5 October 2016, a workshop on the international regulatory applicability and acceptance of alternative non-animal approaches, i.e., defined approaches, to skin sensitisation assessment of chemicals used in a variety of sectors. The workshop convened representatives from more than 20 regulatory authorities from the European Union, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Brazil and China. There was a general consensus among the workshop participants that to maximise global regulatory acceptance of data generated with defined approaches, international harmonisation and standardisation are needed. Potential assessment criteria were defined for a systematic evaluation of existing defined approaches that would facilitate their translation into international standards, e.g., into a performance-based Test Guideline. Informed by the discussions at the workshop, the ICATM members propose practical ways to further promote the regulatory use and facilitate adoption of defined approaches for skin sensitisation assessments.


Figure 1. Generic IATA elements and role of defined approaches within IATA.

*Quantitative structure–activity (QSAR) models are usually characterised according to the five OECD principles for QSAR model validation (OECD 2007).
#Non-guideline in vitro test methods should be described according to OECD Guidance Document No. 211

Additional Materials

QSAR Model Reporting Format