NC3Rs e-newsletter - February 2017


Launch of our new hub: Increasing human tissue use

Have you considered using human tissue for your research, but been put off by the potentially complex regulatory landscape, or by concerns about availability of material?

We have launched a new resource to support scientists in accessing and using human tissue for research; providing guidance and case studies as well as advice on navigating the regulatory framework.



Using fewer animals to assess environmental safety

A new article published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry has highlighted methods which could minimise the number of vertebrates used to evaluate the safety of chemicals exposed to animals in the environment.

The authors of the paper, which include Programme Manager Dr Natalie Burden, highlight the scientific progress that has been made applying the 3Rs to ecotoxicology testing.



International survey on the use of zebrafish in research highlights opportunities for refinement

In collaboration with AstraZeneca and the University of Plymouth, we have conducted the largest ever survey on the use and care of zebrafish in research, covering anaesthesia and euthanasia methods, housing and husbandry, breeding and production.

The survey results, which have recently been published in Journal of Fish Biology, allow laboratories to benchmark their husbandry practices and to identify opportunities for refinement to improve zebrafish welfare.



Opportunities to apply the 3Rs in safety assessment programmes

The implementation of the 3Rs in drug development has the potential to improve the efficiency of the process and reduce late stage attrition.

A recent review published in the Institute for Laboratory Animal Research Journal has summarised current and future opportunities to apply the 3Rs in safety assessment of pharmaceuticals, highlighting scientific, ethical and financial benefits to the industry.

The article features a number of NC3Rs activities in this area; promoting the use of microsampling (a refined blood sampling technique), recommendations on how to reduce the use of recovery animals in general regulatory toxicology studies, and the use of telemetry to allow social housing during safety pharmacology studies.



CRACK IT is an open innovation platform from the NC3Rs to accelerate the development, application and commercialisation of technologies with 3Rs potential as they emerge from the research base.


CRACK IT Solutions funding increases to £50k

Funding of up to £50k is now available for EU-based academics and SMEs whose technology is featured through the CRACK IT Solutions partnering platform.

CRACK IT Solutions is a technology partnering hub which helps to identify new partners and customers to use, develop and validate technologies with 3Rs potential. Technologies previously featured through the Solutions platform have been developed into commercially viable products or have gone on to secure large amounts of additional funding for further development.



Webinar: David Sainsbury Fellowship call 2017

Interested in applying for a David Sainsbury Fellowship? Join us for a webinar on 30 March 2017, 2-3pm for information and guidance about the scheme and application process, as well as an opportunity for Q&As with our research funding team.



NC3Rs workshop at the Institute of Animal Technology Congress 2017

21 - 24 March 2017: WEST OF ENGLAND, UK

We will be spotlighting the welfare needs of laboratory rodents throughout 2017, running a series of workshops, events and data collection projects aimed at animal technicians.

As part of our efforts, we will be hosting two workshops in collaboration with AstraZeneca at the IAT Congress. These workshops will explore approaches to providing laboratory rats with a complex environment and increased opportunity to exercise.

Each workshop will feature short talks on rat behaviour and welfare as well as group break-out sessions to explore the barriers to adoption of complex rat environments and how to practically implement improvements to the environment of laboratory rats.

The closing date for registration is 3 March 2017.



Systematic reviews in animal research: launch of SyRF

30 March 2017: LONDON

We are hosting a meeting to launch the new CAMARADES-NC3Rs Systematic Review Facility (SyRF) web app – a new free-to-use tool to help researchers perform systematic reviews and meta-analyses of animal studies.

As well as demonstrating the new web app, the meeting will focus on the opportunities that systematic reviews present for highlighting 3Rs opportunities, translating animal data to the clinic, and evaluating the risks of experimental bias.

Attendance is free, but registration is essential. The closing date for registration is 15 March 2017.



Workshop: The use of human tissues for safety assessment

3 May 2017: COVENTRY

We are co-hosting a one day workshop in collaboration with the Safety Pharmacology Society, to discuss how best to support and enable the use of human tissues in safety testing.

The workshop will focus on application of human tissue approaches as alternatives to animal studies, including regulatory perspectives towards acceptance and processes for the access to human tissues.

There will be opportunities to present posters on relevant work with human tissues and cell lines, as well as exhibitor spaces available to facilitate greater awareness of the opportunities for accessing human tissue and for outsourcing human tissue-based safety testing.

The deadline to submit a poster abstract or an exhibitor abstract is 12 April 2017.

Attendance is free, but registration is essential. The closing date for registration is 14 April 2017.