Spec. Issue 2006 - Article Summary

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Roles for QSAR in risk assessment

Gilman D. Veith
International QSAR Foundation to Reduce Animal Testing, Two Harbors, Minnesota, USA
Summary
Early pioneers in quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) development believed in the premise that laboratory experiments should not be performed without a firm expectation of the results before going into the laboratory. The value of QSARs in risk assessment will be to provide us with those expectations for a wide variety of exposure and hazard assessment endpoints before the decision to require specific testing is made. Most of the current QSAR models are limited only by the lack of designed databases; however, as they evolve, QSAR models for most endpoints will undoubtedly be used to provide us with test expectations for thousands of untested chemicals. In so doing, QSAR will complement the 3Rs with a powerful new tool to minimise animal testing that is not likely to influence regulatory decisions. If it is true that 95% industrial chemicals have a lower probability to be classified as an endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) than n-butyl aniline, avoiding testing on those chemicals can be achieved by QSAR screening. With the recent development of computer simulators of metabolic activation (e.g. the virtual liver), improved QSAR models for skin sensitisation, respiratory irritation and genotoxicity will follow quickly. Finally, the integration of QSAR models with in vitro methods holds great promise for the prudent use and interpretation of our testing and assessment resources.

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