NICEATM announces release of ICCVAM report on animal occular testing

The NTP Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods (NICEATM) announces availability of an Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) test method evaluation report (TMER) that provides recommendations for identifying chemical eye hazards with fewer animals.  The report (NIH Publication Number 12-7930) is available as a PDF.

From the report:

ICCVAM has made recommendations to U.S. Federal agencies that will provide for identifying chemical eye hazards with fewer animals. ICCVAM concludes that using a classification criterion of one or more positive animals in a three-animal test to identify chemicals and products that are eye hazards will maintain hazard classification equivalent to that provided by current testing procedures (16 CFR 1500.42), while using up to 50% to 83% fewer animals. ICCVAM therefore recommends consideration of the use of this classification criterion together with eye safety testing procedures that use a maximum of three animals per test substance. Consistent with ICCVAM’s duty to foster interagency and international harmonization (42 U.S.C. 285l-3), this recommendation harmonizes the number of animals used for eye safety testing across U.S. regulatory agencies and international test guidelines.

ICCVAM also recommends that in vitro test methods should always be considered before using animals for eye safety testing, and these should be used where determined appropriate. When it is necessary to use animals for eye safety testing, ICCVAM recommends that medications and humane endpoints should always be used to avoid or minimize pain and distress.

ICCVAM considered comments from the public and from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods (SACATM) Exiting the NICEATM-ICCVAM website as it finalized its recommendations. These recommendations have been forwarded to Federal agencies, with agency responses expected in 2013.

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