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Employing an adverse outcome pathway framework for weight-of-evidence assessment with application to the ICH S1B guidance addendum

Stalford SA; Cayley A; Oliveira A;


Across industry, there is a paradigm shift occurring for carcinogenicity testing, with the focus moving from long term animal studies to alternative approaches. Based on the explorative work done in recent years, the International Council for Harmonization (ICH) recently published a draft addendum to the S1B guidance, which allows for a weight-of-evidence (WoE) assessment to be conducted based on data gathered throughout the pharmaceutical development process and literature to mitigate some testing in rodents if the body of evidence clearly shows undertaking an animal lifetime study would not add value to the risk assessment. While several alternative approaches already exist, and other new approach methodologies (NAMs) are being explored, all of which can contribute to this WoE, it is important that all the evidence can be combined in a meaningful and consistent way to reach a conclusion. Adverse outcome pathways have been advocated as a framework for organising evidence in an integrated approach to testing and assessment, which gives context to data and can aid reaching a conclusion as to the adverse outcome (AO). This approach can be combined with a reasoning methodology to give a prediction for an AO and applied to the factors which need to be considered for the ICH S1B WoE to predict for carcinogenicity. Using this approach to the WoE assessment, consistent, scientifically robust, and transparent calls can be made as to whether conducting an animal carcinogenicity study would add value to a human risk assessment and mitigate the need to run animal studies unnecessarily.