Despite their availability, some non-animal tests are not accepted to fulfil regulatory requirements. There are several reasons for this, including a lack of reviewer or industry familiarity with the non-animal tests. To overcome this challenge, PETA Science Consortium International organises training opportunities to help scientists become more proficient with in vitro and in silico methods.
Training Efforts Organised by the Science Consortium
To be effective, training must reach all sectors and levels of management within an organisation. It requires collaboration among regulatory agencies, industry, method developers, and NGOs to develop and promote these educational opportunities and materials. Training must take a variety of forms, including regular in-person and online events and up-to-date written and video materials.
To familiarise scientists with non-animal test methods, the Science Consortium organises in-person educational sessions with leading experts in in vitro and in silico methods, such as the Institute for In Vitro Sciences and the Laboratory of Mathematical Chemistry (eg, see here and here).
Additionally, the Science Consortium organises workshops on various topics, including the development of non-animal methods to examine the subchronic inhalation toxicity of nanomaterials, alternative methods for the identification of acute systemic toxicity, in vitro approaches for medical device pyrogen testing, and the development of animal-free recombinant antibodies.
The Science Consortium also organises webinars focused on the use of alternative approaches to meet REACH requirements, inhalation toxicity testing, recombinant antibodies, and the use of new approach methodologies in risk assessment and produces factsheets on non-animal test methods.
For these and other efforts, in 2015, the Science Consortium won the prestigious Lush Prize Training Award for its multifaceted approach to replacing animal testing through education and training.