FICAM focuses on the development and validation of cell and tissue culture 2D- and 3D-models to complement and to replace the use of experimental animals. In addition, FICAM´s role is to be the centre of excellence for alternative (replacement) methods in Finland, to share information locally and to implement education and training on alternative methods into the advanced training courses. FICAM also provides GLP (Good Laboratory Practice) and validation expertises on alternative methods and gives education on these areas.
The Finnish Centre for Alternative Methods (FICAM) was established in December 2008. FICAM is located in the School of Medicine at the University of Tampere.
Medical School of Tampere University possesses a long experience in human cell and tissue research and development on related technology. The majority of the tests developed in FICAM apply the use of human tissues and cells. The human tissue material is obtained from the Tissue Bank Finland (FinTiB) located in Tampere University Hospital next to FICAM. FICAM applies GCP (good clinical practice) principles for human tissue material. The routine testing in FICAM is performed under GLP. The developed validated test models can be used in safety studies (e.g. for pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals and cosmetics), and efficacy testing (for pharmaceuticals). The tissue and organ models are also applicable in basic biomedical research. Because of the gained expertise and GLP status, FICAM is a competent reference laboratory e.g. in the method validations for EURL ECVAM (European Union Reference Laboratory on Alternatives to Animal Testing).