With an increasing need to incorporate new approach methodologies (NAMs) in chemical risk assessment and the concomitant need to phase out animal testing, the interpretation of in vitro assay readouts for quantitative hazard characterisation becomes more important. Physiologically based kinetic (PBK) models, which simulate the fate of chemicals in tissues of the body, play an essential role in extrapolating in vitro effect concentrations to in vivo bioequivalent exposures. As PBK-based testing approaches evolve, it will become essential to standardise PBK modelling approaches towards a consensus approach that can be used in quantitative in vitro-to-in vivo extrapolation (QIVIVE) studies for regulatory chemical risk assessment based on in vitro assays. Based on results of an ECETOC expert workshop, steps are recommended that can improve regulatory adoption: (1) define context and implementation, taking into consideration model complexity for building fit-for-purpose PBK models, (2) harmonise physiological input parameters and their distribution and define criteria for quality chemical-specific parameters, especially in the absence of in vivo data, (3) apply Good Modelling Practices (GMP) to achieve transparency and design a stepwise approach for PBK model development for risk assessors, (4) evaluate model predictions using alternatives to in vivo PK data including read-across approaches, (5) use case studies to facilitate discussions between modellers and regulators of chemical risk assessment. Proof-of-concepts of generic PBK modelling approaches are published in the scientific literature at an increasing rate. Working on the previously proposed steps is, therefore, needed to gain confidence in PBK modelling approaches for regulatory use.
By Abdulkarim Najjar, Ans Punt, John Wambaugh, Alicia Paini, Corie Ellison, Styliani Fragki, Enrica Bianchi, Fagen Zhang, Joost Westerhout, Dennis Mueller, Hequn Li, Quan Shi, Timothy W. Gant, Phil Botham, Rémi Bars, Aldert Piersma, Ben van Ravenzwaay & Nynke I. Kramer