June 13, 2023 by Rhiannon Smith

Rhiannon NAMS Blog

Following on from ECHA’s recent workshop, I was in London last week, at the NAMs workshop held by HESI and NC3Rs, which has been a great way to build on our knowledge of this vibrant and ever-expanding topic. The workshop consisted of panel discussions by a variety of speakers from industry, academia, regulators and NGOs, with the chance for the audience to provide further input and ask many insightful questions. The input from the across the range of stakeholders highlighted the opportunities and challenges encountered from conception to final implementation and regulatory acceptance of NAMs across the world, including some great case study examples.

It was heartening to hear regulators encourage the use of NAMs in dossiers but the need for further interaction between scientists and policymakers was raised, with industry playing their part by making the data available and putting it in context alongside existing data or fully justifying the use of NAMs to complete information requirements. The lessons learned by the cosmetics industry and big players from other sectors need to be shared with others to ensure that NAMs can be implemented as efficiently and effectively as possible, to reduce the need for and ultimately the reliance on traditional testing programs.

It was also interesting to hear discussions on NAMs as part of a wider consideration of risk versus hazard assessment, and the need to consider exposure to chemicals, both in the environment and within a biological system.

The sessions covered the journey of NAMs so far, from how we define them, where we are headed and how we know when we’ve got there, to broader concept discussions on the opportunity and challenges associated with NAMs and the roadmap for the future. The enlightening key-note presentation took a step back from the day-to-day NAMs discussions and considered the validity of predictions, with examples from a range of areas including drug development and the application of this to NAMs development, not just for in silico modelling but an overall review how different approaches are identified and selected for further development.

We look forward to working with a variety of stakeholders on how NAMs can be implemented and fully accepted.