ECHA gives out registration data to support development of non-test methods
The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) has been given access to certain data from ECHA's chemicals database to develop a new tool for predicting toxicity of chemicals.
Helsinki, 11 February 2016 – The new software, called AMBIT, for cheminformatic data management is developed under an industry-led project. It consists of a database of more than 450 000 chemical structures and functional modules allowing the data to be searched and mined. The aim of the tool is to avoid unnecessary testing on animals when filling information gaps on chemicals.
ECHA supports this industry initiative by giving Cefic access to carefully-selected parts of the non-confidential registration data, to protect the rights of the data owners.
The Agency is keen to see data on chemicals being used to enhance their safe use, promote innovation and avoid unnecessary testing on animals. However, while the chemicals database is a very good resource for data, parts of the information are protected by rights belonging to third parties, for example intellectual property rights. Companies have invested heavily in generating the data and there are different laws in place to safeguard its reuse. This is also mentioned in the legal notice on ECHA's website.
ECHA is currently analysing how to make the data more readily available to a wider audience (e.g. academia, companies, researchers, regulators) in a way that respects the ownership of companies. In addition to Cefic's AMBIT project, ECHA has provided similar sets of data to the OECD QSAR Toolbox.
ECHA has the legal obligation to make data submitted to it through REACH registrations and CLP notifications publicly available. This is done through the Information on chemicals section of the website. This is a unique source of information on up to 120 000 chemicals manufactured and imported in Europe. It covers their hazardous properties, classification and labelling, and information on how to use them safely.