NC3Rs e-newsletter - September 2014


Nominations for the 2014 3Rs Prize are now open
The international NC3Rs Prize is now open for applications. The prize recognises a piece of research published in the last three years which has 3Rs impact on the use of animals in the life sciences. The prize consists of a grant of £18k, plus a personal award of £2k. Highly-commended entries receive a £4k grant and £1k personal award.
The deadline for applications is 5 December 2014.



Public engagement events in Biology Week
NC3Rs researchers who were awarded public engagement funding earlier this year have organised events that will be taking place in Biology Week, 12 - 18 October 2014. The events include department open days, school visits and science festivals.


LASA winter meeting 2014
25 - 27 November 2014 - MIDLANDS, UK
The LASA winter meeting is due to take place in November this year. We will be awarding a prize at the meeting for the poster which best aligns science and technology with the 3Rs, inspiring scientists to readily adopt new approaches. The winner will receive registration fees and expenses to attend a second scientific meeting to disseminate this information to a wider audience.



Conducting and learning from systematic review and meta-analysis
13 - 14 November 2014 – WASHINGTON DC, USA
We are sponsoring the third International Symposium on Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Laboratory Animal Studies, which focuses on why and how to use systematic review and meta-analysis, and how these tools enable researchers to learn about the utility of animal models in specific therapeutic areas.


2014 Challenges
Three new Challenges open for applications now:

  • QSARs Mix: To use existing toxicological data repositories to develop in silico tools, which can be used to predict toxicology endpoints for substances of interest.
  • Targeting off-targets: To develop novel approaches to address the potential human safety issues arising from chemicals interacting with 'off-target' receptors.
  • Neuratect: To generate physiologically-relevant human stem cell-based models to identify neurotoxicity.

For details of how to apply please visit the Challenge pages.



2013 CRACK IT Phase 2
Winning teams announced
The 2013 CRACK IT Challenge teams recently went head-to-head in 'Dragons' Den-style' interviews. The winner of each of the four Challenges was awarded investment to complete Phase 2 (up to £1 million). Details of the winning teams have been published on our website.



Partners sought
Developing a new cell culture chamber for improved drug screening 

EBERS Medical Technology is seeking partners to help in the development of their microfluidic gradient devices as a screen to identify drugs with undesirable efficacy and/or toxicity profiles. They are particularly keen to work with companies/researchers with a focus on cancer drug development.



Solutions partnering leads to commercialisation

Through CRACK IT Solutions Dr Colin Brown, from Newcastle University, has secured substantial investment to commercialise his primary human and rat kidney proximal tubule cell model (aProximateTM). The agreement with SOLVO Biotechnology will make the technology available to a global customer base, maximising the potential 3Rs and drug development benefits.


We have moved the NC3Rs blog into our main news area of our newly designed site, bringing all of our NC3Rs and 3Rs news together in one place.
Find our most recent posts, along with our back catalogue here.



Creating a culture of care
Dr Marilyn Brown, Corporate Vice President of Global Animal Welfare at the contract research organisation Charles River, describes the culture of care at Charles River and gives practical tips for other institutions wishing to follow their lead.



Focus on improving the 3Rs in ocular research
One of CRACK IT Challenges, the RETINAS project, has succeeded in bringing together an SME with an industry leader to develop a product to refine injections in the rabbit eye.







Reducing the number of fish in bioconcentration studies for plant protection products by reducing the number of test concentrations
An NC3Rs-led analysis demonstrating the potential to reduce the number of fish per test for bioconcentration studies by a third will be published in the November edition of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology and is available online.



Recommendations from a global cross-company data sharing initiative on the incorporation of recovery phase animals in safety assessment studies to support first-in-human clinical trials
A global data sharing collaboration, led by the NC3Rs and the MHRA, showed wide variation in the use of recovery animals and identified opportunities to reduce their use in first in human studies conducted during drug development.



A Preclinical Physiological Assay to Test Modulation of Knee Joint Pain in the Spinal Cord: Effects of Oxycodone and Naproxen
Researchers from Neusentis have developed a checklist highlighting important questions to consider when planning a study, to determine the quality of the assay and ensure robust results. The Assay Capability Tool was recently applied to pain research and published in PLoS One but its relevance extends to many research fields.





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