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Read-across approaches - Misconceptions, promises and challenges ahead

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Author: Patlewicz, G. · Ball, N. · Becker, R.A. · Booth, E.D. · Cronin, M.T.D. · Kroese, D. · Steup, D. · Ravenzwaay, B. van · Hartung, T.
Source:Altex, 4, 31, 387-396
Identifier: 520204
doi: doi:10.14573/altex.1410071
Keywords: Biology · (Q)SARs · Adverse outcome pathways (AOP) · Analogue approach · Category approach · Scientific confidence framework · Chemical compound · Awareness · Data processing · Ecotoxicology · Human · Information processing · Nonhuman · Quantitative structure activity relation · Read across approach · Toxicity · Toxicology · Uncertainty · Validity · Biomedical Innovation · Healthy Living · Life · RAPID - Risk Assessment Products in Development · ELSS - Earth, Life and Social Sciences


Read-across is a data gap filling technique used within category and analogue approaches. It has been utilized as an alternative approach to address information requirements under various past and present regulatory programs such as the OECD High Production Volume Programme as well as the EU's Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals (REACH) regulation. Although read-across raises a number of expectations, many misconceptions still remain around what it truly represents; how to address its associated justification in a robust and scientifically credible manner; what challenges/issues exist in terms of its application and acceptance; and what future efforts are needed to resolve them. In terms of future enhancements, read-across is likely to embrace more biologically-orientated approaches consistent with the Toxicity in the 21st Century vision (Tox-21c). This Food for Thought article, which is notably not a consensus report, aims to discuss a number of these aspects and, in doing so, to raise awareness of the ongoing efforts and activities to enhance read-across. It also intends to set the agenda for a CAAT read-across initiative in 2014-2015 to facilitate the proper use of this technique.