|Riina Sarkanen received a marked international Science Prize of EPAA|
Dr. Riina Sarkanen, Ph.D. from FICAM received the international 3Rs Science Prize of EPAA. This marked international prize was delivered in a ceremony chaired by Vladimir Sucha, Director-General, European Commission DG JRC on 19th November 2014 in Brussels during the 10th EPAA Annual Conference. The title of the conference is “How to facilitate the use of alternative methods by regulators?” Dr. Sarkanen gave a presentation in front of the EPAA annual conference participants gathering regulators, industry stakeholders, academia, and civil society.
The EPAA (The European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing) prize is given to scientists who have performed research with outstanding results on alternative 3R research. This year, the prize was bestowed on a European young scientist whose work brought a significant contribution to 3Rs. EPAA prized Dr. Riina Sarkanen for her high level research on developing human vasculo/angiogenesis model.
Dr. Sarkanen works in FICAM, the Finnish Centre for Alternative Methods at the School of Medicine, University of Tampere. Part of the now prized research she published in her Ph.D. thesis “Engineering Vascularized Soft Tissue” in 2012.
“Dr. Sarkanen has contributed significantly to the development of alternative replacement methods for animal experimentation when developing the human cell-based vasculogenesis/angiogenesis models suitable for several in vitro testing strategies to replace animal experiments. These models are also needed as components of other functional tissue models, and they can be taken in routine use in pharmaceutical and other industry to replace and/substitute animal experiments.
Vasculogenesis is a critical step in the development of tissues and organs. Thus, the test is very promising test e.g. for the developmental toxicology to detect teratogenic potency of chemical substances. Further, the test is very useful in the development of pharmaceuticals for which the wanted effect is inhibition of vasculo/angiogenesis, e.g.cancer drugs and drugs against rheumatoid arthritis. The principle of the vasculo/angiogenesis is proposed to be included to the OECD-testing strategy list”, tells Tuula Heinonen, the Director of FICAM.
“This is a happy day to Dr. Sarkanen and also to FICAM. The pioneer work of Dr. Sarkanen and FICAM´s strategy to elaborate and utilize that novel idea have resulted a human tissue mimicking test to be used as routine test in regulatory purposes and in basic and applied research and drug development. Because the test is human cell based it mimic human biology instead of animal biology mimicking animal tests. Therefore, it is a great interest. The prize tells us that this test is very welcomed by the industry.” says Tuula Heinonen.
EPAA was created in 2005 as a Public-Private Partnership between services of the European Commission, Federations and stakeholders from several sectors of the European industry (e.g. BASF, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim. Glaxo SmithKline, Henkel, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Unilever, L'Oréal, Roche). To date, it gathers 5 Directorates-general of the EC, 7 federations, 36 companies from 7 industry sectors: animal health, chemicals, cosmetics, crop protection, fragrances, pharmaceuticals, soaps and detergents and their respective federation. http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/epaa/
For more information:
Dr. Riina Sarkanen,
Adjunct.Prof. Tuula Heinonen, Director of FICAM,