NC3Rs e-newsletter - October 2015


Launch of Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) resource

In 2014 the NC3Rs launched a programme of work to support the wide-scale development and application of pathways-based approaches to human and environmental safety assessment, with the aim of improving the science and ultimately reducing the reliance on animal toxicity testing.

As part of this initiative we have launched a new resource web page, and “Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) News”, a regular periodical for scientists across academia and industry, as well as risk assessors and regulators who are interested in the application of pathways-based approaches.



Re-launch of dogs housing and husbandry resource page

Our updated resource provides advice on the housing of laboratory dogs, tools for their welfare assessment, and suggestions for refinement of procedures used in safety assessment studies.



Funding panel vacancies

We have a number of vacancies available on our Funding Panels including our Grant, PhD Studentship and David Sainsbury Fellowship Assessment Panels from January 2016.

Applications close at 4pm, 9 November 2015.



Humane endpoints resource update

The 3Rs-Centre Utrecht Life Sciences have launched an updated website on humane endpoints, including new content. The website includes practical guidelines on how to apply humane endpoints, monitor welfare and hosts an extensive database of videos and photographs of clinical indications useful to determine endpoints.



Funding awarded to replace animal models of bovine Tuberculosis

The NC3Rs in partnership with BBSRC has awarded three new grants totalling £1.4million, under the “Replacing animal models of bovine tuberculosis” strategic award. Bovine tuberculosis is a major problem in cattle farming in the UK, and developing relevant alternative models to study disease pathogenesis is a much needed requirement for a more efficient fight against the disease.



Launch of two new hubs

The NC3Rs has launched two new web resource hubs: Animals in chemical safety testing and Animals in environmental safety testing.

Each hub links to information, publications and guidance that has resulted from the various NC3Rs office-led projects supporting the application of the 3Rs in chemical development, including the new Pathways-based Approaches Resource Page



Horizon 2020 EU-ToxRisk project

The NC3Rs has been announced as a consortium partner for a new collaborative project awarded under the Horizon 2020 framework, in which academia will work alongside small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large industry, contract research organisations (CROs) and regulatory bodies to achieve more efficient and animal-free chemical safety assessments in toxicology.


CRACK IT Challenges deadline for application

The deadline for registering on the SBRI website in order to submit Challenge applications for 2015 is 4 November. Registration with the SBRI is essential in order to submit an application.

The 3Rs Challenges this year are:

  • Metaboderm: Development of a new tool to predict metabolism in human skin.
  • InMutaGene: Development of a technology to address the risks of insertional mutagenesis/oncogenesis and to improve the efficiency of translational research in gene therapy.

The deadline for application submission is 12 noon on 11 November 2015.

Further information on the Challenges can be found on the CRACK IT website or by emailing the CRACK IT Team at



Solution - Comprehensive target screening by label-free cell microarray profiling to reduce animal studies in drug discovery

Phenotox Ltd is seeking partners to help develop and test a novel mass spectrometry-based profiling method that can detect the binding of label-free (unmodified) chemicals to potentially thousands of targets expressed in cell microarrays. The platform is a cost effective solution to improve understanding of therapeutic and safety properties in drug discovery and reduce animal use.


Bioprinting for more predictive efficacy and safety testing

Tuesday 15 December 2015 : LONDON
The NC3Rs, Innovate UK and the Knowledge Transfer Network are jointly hosting a workshop to advance the development and application of bioprinting approaches for improved efficacy and safety testing of drugs and other chemicals.

Registration closes on 9 December 2015.


NC3Rs/IAT Animal Technicians’ Symposium

In collaboration with the Institute of Animal Technology (IAT), the ninth annual Animal Technicians’ Symposium recently took place in London, attracting a large number of technicians from around the UK. Karen Dunford from University College London won the prize of best poster: ‘“Refinement of a health monitoring system for laboratory zebrafish”.



The ethical and practical benefits of ShARM

A guest blog post by world-renowned expert on aging, Professor Tom Kirkwood, explores the ethical and practical benefits of using a Shared Aging Resource (ShARM) for research.



Strategic award call on chronic implants

The NC3Rs is now seeking research proposals which aim to address the animal welfare concerns and scientific limitations of current chronic implant designs used in neuroscience studies with awake, behaving macaques.



Updated project grants 2015/16 timeline

If you are interested in applying for an NC3Rs project grant we have just published details of the timelines for the 2015 competition. Please note that there is an updated eligibility criteria for individuals applying.



Individual monitoring of immune response in Atlantic salmon following experimentalinfection with Infectious Salmon Anaemia Virus (ISAV)

Monitoring the immune response in fish over the progression of a disease is traditionally carried out by experimental infection whereby animals are killed at regular intervals and samples taken.

Funded by an NC3Rs grant, this paper describes a novel approach to infectiology for salmonid fish where blood samples are collected repeatedly in a small group of PIT-tagged animals. This approach contributes to the reduction of animals used in research and to improved data quality.



Opportunities for improving animal welfare in rodent models of epilepsy and seizures

Animal models of epilepsy are used to further understand the pathophysiology of epilepsy and to develop new therapies. Such models represent an important area for application of the 3Rs; with the
potential for refinement of seizure induction, maintenance and monitoring to minimise pain suffering and distress. Recent work from an NC3Rs working group, reviewed the current use of rodent models of epilepsy to identify opportunities to improve animal welfare.

Published in the Journal of Neuroscience Methods, the paper provides practical guidance and recommendations based upon a systematic review of the literature, survey of the international epilepsy community and the expert opinion and practical experience of the members of the working group.