An article published on October 17, 2016 by the European Commission (EC’s) science and knowledge service EU Science Hub informs that the Joint Research Centre (JRC) has released a report describing the 2014-2016 work of its DataBase service on ALternative Methods to animal experimentation (DB-ALM).

DB-ALM collects and makes publicly available the information on non-animal (alternative) methods in life sciences and toxicity testing, aiming “[t]o promote the development and uptake of alternative and advanced methods in toxicology and biomedical sciences.” This database is operated by the European Union Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL-ECVAM). The main emphasis is on the methods originating from European research projects or those undergoing validation towards international acceptance, but information on some less-developed methods can also be added and will be continuously updated. Current online content includes “325 method descriptions (168 Summaries and 157 Protocols) linked to 82 method evaluations with 3017 test compounds, 9231 results, and experts’ contact details.”

A relatively recent development concerns the adoption of a recording format compliant with the guidance for describing alternative test methods, issued by the Organization for the Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; guidance document 211). Adherence to OECD’s guidance provides for a harmonized framework and ensures the provision of standardized and adequately documented method descriptions.

Currently, the DB-ALM user community includes approximately 5000 registered individuals from 82 countries. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) recommends DB-ALM as an information source on in vitro methods to be considered when preparing chemical registration dossiers, and OECD suggests that it should be used for storage and dissemination of adequately described alternative testing methods.

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EU Science Hub (October 17, 2016). “Enhancing human health, reducing animal use: the JRC’s database service informs about alternative methods to animal testing.


Janusch Roi, A., et al. (2016). “DB-ALM Report 2016.” EUR28062 EN (pdf).

OECD (December 15, 2014). “Guidance document for describing non-guideline in vitro test methods.OECD Series on Testing and Assessment No. 211 ENV/JM/MONO(2014)35 (pdf).