EU: EURL ECVAM launches CheLIST database
A key requirement for the development, characterization and eventual validation of alternative (non-animal) methods for use in biomedical research and regulatory safety assessment is the availability of suitable reference or benchmark chemicals for which reliable structural, physicochemical and biological property data are available. Such chemicals may possess for example a specific mode-of-action or be representative of a class of chemicals associated with a particular commercial or regulatory sector. Having the right set of reference chemicals allows rigorous and systematic evaluation of a method̓s performance which is necessary to understand its strengths and limitations, build confidence in the information it provides, and to indicate where and how it can be most successfully applied.
However the type of information needed to select reference chemicals is typically scattered across a plethora of heterogeneous databases, project websites and peer-reviewed literature. This severely hampers the progress in advancing alternative methods such as in vitro assays and computational biology models used for predictive toxicology or pharmacology. Moreover, many valuable highly-curated lists of reference chemicals already exist and could be exploited for other projects and purposes but unfortunately this is frequently hindered due to lack of awareness or lack of easy access.
To tackle this issue, the EU Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURLECVAM) of the European Commission’s Joint Research Center has released the “Chemical Lists Information System” (CheLIST) at http://chelist.jrc.ec.europa.eu/ that provides a means of identifying whether a chemical (or chemical group) has been tested in a major EU or international research project and also (to a limited extent for now) whether the chemical appears on a specific regulatory inventory. Information is provided on chemical identifiers (e.g. name, CAS number) and chemical structure, and the database can be searched according to these types of information. The various datasets and inventories can also be compared in order to identify overlaps in chemical membership and to generate customized lists. All lists can be downloaded and the references provided for each list allow traceability back to the source.
May 14, 2014
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