Envisioning an international validation process for New Approach Methodologies in chemical hazard and risk assessment
Despite the global toxicology community discussing New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) for chemical hazard and risk assessment, such as in vitro, in silico, and ‘omics-based approaches, for some 30 years, their formal adoption by regulators remains limited. Previous research suggests that insufficient validation, complexity of interpretation, and lack of standardization are salient obstacles to adoption. In this paper we aim to better understand the policy challenges associated with adopting NAMs in chemical risk assessment; and to identify actions that could facilitate and accelerate their formal adoption internationally. We conducted a Delphi study – a group communication process that solicits expert judgments through iterative questioning and feedback – with panelists from government, industry, and non-governmental organizations in Europe and North America. Expert panelists identified two key activities to facilitate and accelerate the validation of NAMs internationally: 1) the development of common data collection, reporting and sharing procedures; and 2) the improvement of knowledge about new test methods among members of the regulatory community. Both activities suggest the need for a common regulatory science infrastructure, including international regulatory dialogues, large-scale research collaborations, and coordinated innovation in technological tools, the discourse of scientific validation, and regulatory procedures. To build trust across many sites (laboratories, regulatory agencies, contract research organizations, chemical producers, and the public), stakeholders will need to agree on validation requirements for particular uses (content in relation to context) as well as how results are to be communicated (data format), and measured (metrics). There is also a need for a global orchestrator, who can exert leadership and inspire voluntary cooperation of diverse organizations to address shared validation goals, to play a key role.
Matthieu Mondou, Steve Maguire, Guillaume Pain, Doug Crump, Markus Hecker, Niladri Basu, Gordon M. Hickey. 2021. Envisioning an international validation process for New Approach Methodologies in chemical hazard and risk assessment. Environmental Advances, Vol 4, July 2021. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666765721000326?via%3Dihub