Avoiding animal experiments and the continuous development of valid test methods without vertebrate tests is an important goal in regulatory toxicology (3R – reduce, refine, replace). FoBiG supports this process by projects for the Joint Research Centre - Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP) and EPAA for the dissemination of knowledge on alternative testing methods and integrated testing strategies (among others, through contributions to the database DB-ALM.
Important instruments for avoiding animal experiments and for filling data gaps are integrated testing strategies, use of categories as well as read-across approaches (i.e. using existing data for similar substances). These instruments have proven especially valuable for REACH registration purposes. ECHA has extensive requirements in terms of justification for using these approaches that make the expertise in substance behaviour (mechanism, toxicokinetics, environmental fate) indispensable.
The application of quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) is another important tool and specific software employed includes e.g. the EPI SuiteTM of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as the OECD QSAR Toolbox.