Cefic-lri Programme | European Chemical Industry Council

ECO20.2: Development of an alternative testing strategy for the fish early life-stage test for predicting chronic toxicity: assay validation

Principal Investigator

Prof. Dr. Dries Knapen


University of Antwerp

Universiteitsplein 1, UC.173

2610 Wilrijk


Tel: +32 3 265 27 24

E-mail: dries.knapen@uantwerpen.be


Dr. Lucia Vergauwen, Postdoctoral researcher, University of Antwerp (UA), Wilrijk, Belgium

Dr. Daniel Villeneuve, Research Toxicologist, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USA

Prof. Dr. Gerald Ankley, Senior Research Toxicologist, Adjunct Professor, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USA

Dr. Hilda Witters, Project manager, Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Mol, Belgium

Prof. Dr. Ronny Blust, Full professor, University of Antwerp (UA), Antwerpen, Belgium


This project aims to develop a non-animal testing strategy to reduce the need for fish early life-stage toxicity tests (FELS) for the assessment of chronic toxicity of chemicals to fish, using the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) framework as a guidance for assay development.

The aim of ECO20.2 is to take advantage of the existing momentum in AOP development to consolidate our previous efforts into practical tools for risk assessment.

We selected the two most promising AOPs developed in ECO20, the thyroid AOP and the narcosis AOP.

  1. We will apply the alternative assays which were developed during ECO20 on a set of ±25 compounds per AOP, and predict acute and chronic toxicity based on the assay results.
  2. Subsequently, we will perform a selected set of acute (FET) and chronic (FELS) toxicity experiments in order to validate the predictions. We envisage performing such validation experiments for a total of 5-7 compounds.

The results of ECO20.2 will be used as a proof-of-concept of using AOPs for assay development for screening and prioritization of chemicals.

Timeline: March 2016 > February 2018

LRI funding: € 239.967

Cefic-Lri Programme Responsible Care

© Copyright 2017 Cefic | European Chemical Industry Council. All rights reserved | Terms and Conditions of Use