Report of the First ONTOX Stakeholder Network Meeting: Digging Under the Surface of ONTOX Together With the Stakeholders

Authors Michael G Diemar, Mathieu Vinken, Marc Teunis, Cyrille Krul, François Busquet, Julia Dominika Zajac, Helena Kandarova, Raffaella Corvi, Matteo Z Rosso, Anastasiia Kharina, Louise Stab Bryndum, Michael Santillo, Denise Bloch, Olena Kucheryavenko, Demosthenes Panagiotakos, Vera Rogiers, Manon Beekhuijzen, Arianna Giusti, Abdulkarim Najjar, Carol Courage, Torben Koenig, Susanne Kolle, Harrie Boonen, Stephane Dhalluin, Julie Boberg, Boris P Müller, Predrag Kukic, Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga, Elena Grasselli, Tamara Zietek, Gilly Stoddart, Harm Heusinkveld, Jose V Castell, Emilio Benfenati, Huan Yang, Simón Perera, Alicia Paini, Nynke Kramer, Thomas Hartung, Manoe Janssen, Ellen Fritsche, Danyel Jennen, Matteo Piumatti, James Rathman, Jörg Marusczyk, Lucia Milec, Erwin Roggen
Published in Alternatives to Laboratory Animals
Publication date 2024
Research groups Innovative Testing in Life Sciences and Chemistry
Type Article


The first Stakeholder Network Meeting of the EU Horizon 2020-funded ONTOX project was held on 13-14 March 2023, in Brussels, Belgium. The discussion centred around identifying specific challenges, barriers and drivers in relation to the implementation of non-animal new approach methodologies (NAMs) and probabilistic risk assessment (PRA), in order to help address the issues and rank them according to their associated level of difficulty. ONTOX aims to advance the assessment of chemical risk to humans, without the use of animal testing, by developing non-animal NAMs and PRA in line with 21st century toxicity testing principles. Stakeholder groups (regulatory authorities, companies, academia, non-governmental organisations) were identified and invited to participate in a meeting and a survey, by which their current position in relation to the implementation of NAMs and PRA was ascertained, as well as specific challenges and drivers highlighted. The survey analysis revealed areas of agreement and disagreement among stakeholders on topics such as capacity building, sustainability, regulatory acceptance, validation of adverse outcome pathways, acceptance of artificial intelligence (AI) in risk assessment, and guaranteeing consumer safety. The stakeholder network meeting resulted in the identification of barriers, drivers and specific challenges that need to be addressed. Breakout groups discussed topics such as hazard versus risk assessment, future reliance on AI and machine learning, regulatory requirements for industry and sustainability of the ONTOX Hub platform. The outputs from these discussions provided insights for overcoming barriers and leveraging drivers for implementing NAMs and PRA. It was concluded that there is a continued need for stakeholder engagement, including the organisation of a 'hackathon' to tackle challenges, to ensure the successful implementation of NAMs and PRA in chemical risk assessment.

On this publication contributed

  • Marc Teunis | Associate Professor | Research Group Innovative Testing in Life Sciences & Chemistry
    Marc Teunis
    • Associate professor
    • Research group: Innovative Testing in Life Sciences and Chemistry
  • Cyrille Krul
    Cyrille Krul
    • Professor
    • Research group: Innovative Testing in Life Sciences and Chemistry

Language English
Published in Alternatives to Laboratory Animals
Year and volume 52 2
Key words new approach methodologies (NAMs), artificial intelligence, confidence, end-user acceptance, hackathon, next generation risk assessment, non-animal, probabilistic risk assessment, stakeholder network, toxicology
Digital Object Identifier 10.1177/02611929231225730
Page range 117-131

Innovative Testing in Life Sciences and Chemistry