The DB-ALM (Database on Alternative Methods) was established in 1996 to achieve a principal objective of ECVAM (formerly known as Scientific Information Service-SIS), as required by the European Commission and Parliament, to establish, maintain and manage a database on alternative procedures to animal experiments (SEC(91)1794).
To date, DB-ALM has 1801 registered users from 75 countries, from regulatory authorities, academia, industry, European and International institutions, and animal welfare organisations. It includes summaries of 139 in vitro methods and 63 validation studies / method evaluations. At present, 129 INVITTOX protocols can be downloaded.
The DB-ALM provides ready-to-use information presented as evaluated data-sheets in the form of summary records and detailed information on various aspects of animal alternatives with focus on toxicology assessments.
More info on the DB-ALM website http://ecvam-dbalm.jrc.ec.europa.eu/
The Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP) hosts the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM), which has a long tradition in the development of methods which reduce, refine or replace the use of animals for safety testing and efficacy/potency testing of chemicals, biologicals and vaccines. Research laboratories across the EU are able to submit to ECVAM for scientific validation the alternative methods to animal testing that they have developed. ECVAM also promotes the development and dissemination of alternative methods and approaches, their application in industry and their acceptance by regulators. More information on ECVAM website: http://ecvam.jrc.ec.europa.eu/
In vitro methods
The term in vitro ("in the glass") refers to the technique of performing a given experiment in a test tube, or, generally, in a controlled environment outside a living organism. In IHCP, in vitro methods are based on the use of cells or tissues which are cultured under controlled conditions in flasks and plates. Cells/tissues are exposed to chemicals and their toxic effect is measured. Increasingly, human cells are used since they better predict possible effects on humans.
Source: IHCP, In Vitro Methods Unit