To Reduce Animal Testing, Big Pharma Shares Substance Data

To improve database-dependent computational techniques and aid minimise animal testing, four Big Pharma companies have contributed previously unpublished hazard data for medicinal compounds.

A scientist pipetting liquid into a test tube is surrounded by holograms of data in this generic drug development or pharmaceutical research idea illustration.

F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck KGaA and Johnson & Johnson, have agreed to exchange unpublished data on medication ingredients in a groundbreaking scheme to assist reduce animal testing.

With the help of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, the companies have made good-quality data which was, previously not published including toxicological, ecotoxicological, and physicochemical substance data about the hazard properties of 19 substances from 153 tests available to the public (EFPIA).

The data is available from the European Chemical Agency as IUCLID databases (ECHA).

The goal of publishing this data is to broaden the range of publicly available high-quality chemical hazard data in order to improve the usefulness of database-based property prediction systems, among other things.

By improving theoretical Structure Activity Relationship (SAR) models and the opportunities for read-across, scientists and other companies could gradually reduce or even eliminate animal testing of chemical substances, depending on the diversity, amount and data quality which is the basis which these considerations or calculations.

Eventually, a programme will be developed in which new firms can join and make their archive data available to the public. The partners (ECHA, EFPIA, and the founding firms) are now conducting a test phase to determine the optimal methods for implementing this data contribution effort.

“Companies contribute this high-quality data free of charge for the benefit of society,” said Dr Jan Backman, Head of Chemical Legislation at F.Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, speaking on behalf of EFPIA.

Our goal is to improve the efficiency of database-dependent computational techniques for assessing the safety of structurally related compounds, such as QSARs.

Scientists may utilise the information to gradually eliminate animal experimentation.

Any organisation may participate in this programme, and I encourage everyone to do so and share their stored data.”

“We regard this as an example of ‘IUCLIDation’ of existing data – it promotes the sharing, access, and re-use of data on chemicals, in accordance with the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability,” ECHA’s Director of Prioritisation and Integration, Ofelia Bercaru, stated.

Promoting standardised formats and technologies, such as IUCLID, is critical to achieving this goal.

In the long run, this information may be useful in developing and promoting alternate test techniques to animal research.”

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