SPotlight Newsletter

Spotlight Newsletter

Summer Issue 2017

President's Report

We're now half-way through 2017 and the Annual Meeting in Berlin is fast approaching! I would encourage you to register if you haven't already: firstly, attendance of the social event at the TV Tower is ticket only, and the tickets are going fast; secondly, the Berlin marathon is on the Sunday (same day as the CE courses: 24th), which means you should plan to reserve your room early as there will be competition for last minute accommodation in hotels.

So far in 2017 we have had 12 webinars (an average of 2 per month) and two regional meetings. I attended the regional meeting in the UK at Coventry University in May, held jointly with the NC3Rs on Human Tissue for Safety Assessment. This covered the entire spectrum from donor tissues to complex iPSC-based microphysiological systems. Helen Prior (NC3Rs, and SPS Secretary) has written a concise overview of the workshop, which she co-organised.

The second regional meeting was the Northeast Regional meeting held jointly with the Society of Toxicologic Pathology, at Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Boston, MA, on the theme of Form Follows Function. A meeting summary is also included in this Issue.

Both Jean-Pierre Valentin (SPS Past President) and myself were invited speakers at the Chinese Safety Pharmacology Society (CSPS) Meeting held in at Chengdu, Sichuang Province, China last month, which we delivered by WebEx on May 26th. In addition, CSPS is funding a Young Investigator Travel Award for a CSPS member to travel to Berlin for the SPS Meeting. This has been awarded to Dr. Jiabin Guo, Evaluation & Research Center for Toxicology, Institute of Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China.

Michael Pugsley (SPS Past President) is finalising contributions to a book chapter on safety pharmacology that will be translated into Chinese for the Chinese safety pharmacology community. Authors include Simon Authier, Mike Curtis, Mike Engwall, David Heal, John Koerner, Derek Leishman, Michael Pugsley, Jean-Pierre Valentin and me.

The Safety Pharmacology Society continues to make steady progress towards achieving its 2016–2018 strategic goals. The strategic goals are also currently being incorporated into a manuscript for publication, led by Michael Pugsley. The smooth running of the society and its various activities, and the delivery of the strategic goals, is made possible by the dedicated hard work of dozens of volunteers behind the scenes serving on the Board and on committees, as well as the professionalism of our Executive Director, Krystle Correll, and her colleagues at AIM. I would like to briefly mention some recent activities from four SPS committees.

Anyone encountering the term ‘safety pharmacology’ for the first time would probably google it, and then look at two Wikipedia pages: one on ‘Safety Pharmacology’ and one on the ‘Safety Pharmacology Society.’ The Safety Pharmacology Wikipedia page was way off the mark, whereas the SPS page was accurate but the emphasis was off-beam. Although not directly within their remit, the Website Committee was tasked with upgrading the content of these two Wikipedia pages, with input from the SPS Board, and they turned this around very quickly. Take a look at these two sites, imagine you had only just heard about safety pharmacology, and see what you think.

The Regulatory Working Group is drafting a survey to send to regulatory agencies to collect information on their educational needs, which the SPS is happy to provide (it is one of our strategic objectives).

The Academic Outreach Committee is creating a ‘basic SPS slide deck’ for members to use when presenting to universities, which will also be available as a resource on the SPS website to explain the basic concepts of safety pharmacology. They also recently received approval from the Board to offer funding support to young scientists to attend training and workshops to further their education/careers.

The Awards Committee is finalizing details on new annual awards from the Society, and is currently working through the scope, eligibility criteria, assessment criteria and governance for these. They will be launched by SPS Headquarters in the next few weeks, so keep a look out for the email in your Inbox!

And, if you would like to contribute to the success of the Society through committee work, take a look at the list of committees on the website, and see if you find one that matches your interests and expertise. We will be sending out our 2018 Call for Volunteers as we approach the Annual Meeting this fall.

Meanwhile, I hope we are hitting the mark with the webinars, and remember if you missed any of the live webinars, you may view them anytime by visiting the Webinars page under the section called “past webinars” (member login required).

See you in Berlin!

Will Redfern, PhD
President, Safety Pharmacology Society

Annual Meeting News

Top Reasons to Attend the 2017 SPS Annual Meeting

On behalf of the Safety Pharmacology Society (SPS), we would like to invite you and your colleagues to attend the 2017 SPS Annual Meeting, September 24–27, 2017, at the Maritim Hotel in the capital city of Germany, Berlin.

Top Reasons to Attend the Annual Meeting

  • A dynamic forum for best practice sharing within industry, CRO's, academics and regulators
  • Sessions on some of the hottest topics in safety pharmacology related research
  • 6 CE Courses taught by experts in the field
  • 2 Plenary Keynotes by key opinion leaders
  • Exhibit hall offering access to industry vendors
  • Poster sessions featuring cutting-edge research
  • Networking opportunities with a global community of scientists from regulatory, industry, and academia
  • Award opportunities to bring together Student and Jr. Investigators with seasoned scientists, while sharing their research
  • Exhibitor Sponsored Sessions by leading technology and service providers showcasing their new offerings and research

The scientific program will offer in-depth discussions of relevant topics to keep you “in the know.” This meeting will feature a diverse range of scientific sessions organized into two tracks, covering issues on topics such as:

  • Gender Differences in Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Oncology Drug Safety Testing in the 21st Century
  • Updates on the Hot Topics within CNS
  • Current Topics in the Translation and Validation of Safety Pharmacology Studies
  • Best Practices for New Modalities and New Biological Entities
  • The Pathophysiology and Treatment of Tinnitus
  • Disease Models and Personalized Medicine
  • In Vitro Microphysiological Systems to Predict Safety
  • In Silico Modeling—From Bench to Bedside
  • CiPA Challenges and Opportunities

Register by July 15 and Save $200!

The meeting will also offer a broad Continuing Education program both on an introductory level as well as advanced courses for the expert on September 24, and the Diplomate in Safety Pharmacology (DSP) Certification exam will be held the day before the meeting on September 23.

In an effort to support attendance from our younger colleagues, please note that there are expanded opportunities for Travel Awards. Also, please consider submitting an abstract for presentation as a poster. From these submissions a variety will also be selected for short oral communications. The extended deadline to submit an abstract for presentation is June 23, 2017.

We cordially invite you to become a member of our Society, become involved in our ongoing scientific activities and join us in Berlin for our 2017 Annual Meeting this September!

Register Online | Mail or Fax Registration Form

2017 Annual Meeting Mobile App: Coming Soon!

The 2017 SPS Annual Meeting mobile app is coming soon!

This interactive app will allow you to:

  • View the schedule and sessions, save sessions to your personal agenda, and get detailed presenter information.
  • Stay up to date on the most popular sessions, promotions, and events in the Activity Feed.
  • Receive announcements and obtain the most up-to-date information about what's going on.
  • Expand your professional network and have fun by interacting with other attendees in the app.

Stay tuned for updates and download instructions!
The Mobile App is scheduled to launch in August.

2017 Abstract Deadline Extended to June 23

Great news! We have extended the Abstract submission deadline by one week. If you have already submitted your abstract, please feel free to log in and make edits to your submission between now and then. If you have not yet submitted, please be sure to finalize your abstract and submit it by June 23. The Jr. Investigator and Student Travel Award application deadline (July 1) has not been extended.

Student and Academic Opportunities

Travel Awards for Students and Junior Investigators

To encourage and support world-wide representation of students and junior investigators at the Meeting, SPS offers Junior Investigator Travel Awards and Student Travel Awards. The deadline for submitting award applications is July 1, 2017.

The deadline to submit your abstract online for the award is June 23, 2017. All other award application materials are due by July 1, 2017. Please visit our website for complete details on Travel Award eligibility.

SPS Academic Outreach Committee Presents: Student/Academic Welcome Meet-up in Berlin!

We would like to invite you and your colleagues who are interested in the field of safety pharmacology to attend an SPS Student/Academic Welcome Meet-up in Berlin!

SPS is offering a free half-day at the Meeting for academic faculty and students within a short travel distance to the Berlin area. This meet-up features lunch with the SPS President and personal interaction with SPS members. This informal meeting is a great time to get to know more about safety pharmacology, learn more about our members, and interact with other students/faculty.

The meet-up will take place on Monday, September 25, 2017 during the lunch break (12:00–13:00, Room TBD). Afterwards, we invite those in attendance to spend the rest of the afternoon viewing posters, meeting with exhibitors, and/or attending Oral Communications and Scientific Sessions. Additional details will be sent closer to the Meeting.

Those attending this special free event, who are not registered for the Meeting, will only have access to events taking place on Monday, September 25 from 12:00–17:45, and will need RSVP to obtain a badge. Feel free to pass this message along to individuals who may be interested!

If you are already attending the Meeting as a student or academic attendee you are also invited to join the meet-up by completing the RSVP form. If you wish to attend the full Annual Meeting, please register at our reduced student/academic rate. Register now to receive the Early Bird rate.

Hotel Deadlines—Book Today!

2017 SPS Annual Meeting Housing Reservation Deadline—August 18

Important Information: The Berlin Marathon will take place just before the SPS Meeting. The city of Berlin is anticipating over 40,000 people to participate in the event. If you plan to arrive between 9/21 – 9/23 we strongly encourage you to make your hotel reservations today to ensure availability. The Maritim Berlin is the headquarters hotel and also the location of the meeting allowing attendees staying at the property to avoid traffic delays and street closures. If you plan to stay elsewhere check with your hotel to determine how the marathon will impact your travel.

Maritim Hotel Berlin Housing Reservation Deadline

The Maritim Hotel Berlin is the headquarters hotel. We have negotiated a room block with the hotel at the group rate of €149 (Single), €179 (double) including VAT, breakfast buffet, and wifi.

The Maritim Hotel Berlin is located in the city's Tiergarten Park, the quiet diplomatic quarter, close to the Kurfürstendamm and the Potsdamer Platz. The SPS Annual Meeting will take place in the Maritim Hotel Berlin.

To make reservations, please use the online reservation system, or call +49 (0)30 2033-4410 and identify yourself as part of the SPS group rate.

August 18 is the last day to make hotel reservations at the Maritim Hotel Berlin at the reduced rate. After August 18, the Maritim Hotel Berlin can no longer guarantee rooms at reduced rates for attendees.

Waived Registration: US Federal and International Regulatory Agency Employees

In order to facilitate greater interaction with our regulatory colleagues, all US federal employees, and international regulatory agency employees may register to attend the 2017 SPS Annual Meeting at no charge. Waived registration is available to all active US federal employees, and all active employees at international regulatory agencies (must show valid regulatory/government ID at registration).

Registration is required by September 1.

Partner with Us! 2017 Sponsorship Opportunities

The Safety Pharmacology Society (SPS) is a non-profit organization that promotes knowledge, development, training and application of safety pharmacology. Safety pharmacology integrates the best practices of pharmacology, physiology and toxicology to support the discovery and development of safe new drugs by identifying and characterizing potentially undesirable pharmacodynamic activity in non-clinical studies. The Society fosters scientific research, education, and dissemination of scientific information through meetings and other scientific interactions. Together with regulators and companies such as yours, the Society is working to bring safe and affordable new treatments to the market.

SPS is in the process of planning our 2017 Annual Meeting to be held September 24–27, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The meeting attracts over 450 participants from around the globe. Over the last few months, the Program Committee has been hard at work to organize a scientific program that is inclusive of topics across the broad range of interests to our members and colleagues in the field.

The 2017 Scientific Program features a diverse range of scientific sessions organized into two theme tracks and covering issues such as Gender Differences in Cardiovascular Diseases, Oncology Drug Safety Testing in the 21st Century, Updates on the Hot Topics within CNS, Current Topics in the Translation and Validation of Safety Pharmacology Studies, Best Practices for New Modalities and New Biological Entities, The Pathophysiology and Treatment of Tinnitus, Disease Models and Personalized Medicine, In Vitro Microphysiological Systems to Predict Safety, In Silico Modeling—From Bench to Bedside, CiPA Challenges and Opportunities and much more! This will ensure all attendees can stay abreast of new content and developments in all areas of interest.

It is through the generous support of companies like yours that SPS has been able to offer affordable educational programs to a global audience. We hope that you will consider supporting the Society by becoming a sponsor of the 2017 Annual Meeting. Your support of the Society will be highlighted on our web site, in Annual Meeting materials and more, thereby increasing your visibility to your prospective customers.

Please refer to the 2017 Sponsorship Levels showing the detailed list of benefits/recognition that SPS can offer in return for your support. If a formal grant/support request needs to be submitted online, we would be happy to complete the next steps to ensure we comply with your company's policy.

If you have questions regarding sponsorship opportunities, or wish to pledge your support for the 2017 Meeting, please contact Krystle Correll.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the Program Committee, I thank you for your consideration, and hope that you and your colleagues will join us for our 2017 Annual Meeting!

Become a Sponsor  

Exhibit Opportunities at the 2017 Annual Meeting

Networking + Science at the premier event in the industry.

500 + high-level, influential decision makers
Industry professionals looking to Exhibitors for innovative, emerging technology solutions
Four days of intensive best practice sharing, networking and education

As an Exhibitor, you receive:

  • Two complimentary full conference registrations, which allow exhibitors to participate in all scientific sessions and social functions;
  • Company listing and exhibit location published in the Society's Annual Meeting Program provided to all meeting attendees;
  • All networking functions including breaks, lunches, and poster sessions within the exhibit space;
  • A variety of ways to communicate and connect with attendees through exclusive advertising and marketing opportunities.

Don't wait! Join us today to become part of this extraordinary program!
Reserve your booth today!

Advertising & Marketing Opportunities

Annual Meeting Marketing & Advertising

Mobile App Push Notification
$350 USD
Connect with Annual Meeting attendees through the Mobile App with a push notification. The notification will appear on attendees' phones at a designated time with your short message. Available on Monday and Tuesday only. Two messages per day with no more than one message per company, per day. Email Laura Helm to claim a spot!

Mailing List Rental
$500 USD
Expand Your Reach—An opportunity to market to a targeted, global audience! One set of conference attendee mailing labels which includes physical mailing addresses: Mailing List Rental Application.

Email Communication (exclusive to Exhibitors and Annual Meeting Sponsors)
$750 USD
Reach Annual Meeting attendees via email! This highly popular opportunity is available on a first come, first served basis and is sent to all registered Annual Meeting attendees on behalf of the exhibitor via SPS. Only six opportunities are available: August 16, August 23, August 30, September 6, September 13 and October 4. One opportunity per organization. All content is due to Laura Helm one week prior to the scheduled email. Email Laura Helm to reserve your date.

Conference Bag Inserts
$1,000 USD
A one-page promotional piece (8.5 inches x 11 inches/A4 or smaller) inserted into conference bags which are distributed at registration. Email Laura Helm to express your interest.

SPS Final Program
$750 or $825 USD
The SPS Final Program is the official publication of the SPS Annual Meeting. It is the go-to source for attendees and details scientific sessions, presented abstracts and exhibitor profiles. The Final Program offers two options for advertising. Complete the Advertising Order Form and return it to Laura Helm to secure your ad space.

Year-Round Marketing & Advertising

Vendor Directory
The Vendor Directory is the newest advertising opportunity directed at SPS members via the Member Portal. The Directory features a listing of SPS-approved suppliers that members reference when in need of a particular product or service: Complete the Application.

Job Postings
$400 USD
Reach your niche market with 24/7 visibility on the SPS Job Bank that receives over 1,200 hits per month. Get more information.

SPS News

2017 Diplomate in Safety Pharmacology (DSP) Certification Exam and Preparation

The Diplomate in Safety Pharmacology (DSP) has gained increasing recognition over the last four years. With fifty-eight Diplomates as of today, the certification includes members representing all major areas of our discipline including academia, industry and regulatory agencies. Achieving global recognition, the DSP establishes high quality standards for professionals evolving in the field of safety pharmacology. The Safety Pharmacology Society invites you to register to participate in our Diplomate in Safety Pharmacology (DSP) certification exam this fall in Berlin, Germany on September 23, 2017.

All details relative to the certification exam process including eligibility, study materials, scientific scope, and examination format are presented on the DSP website.

Register for the DSP Exam today!

2017 Distinguished Service Award Recipient

The Safety Pharmacology Society is honored to recognize its 2017 Distinguished Service Award Recipient, Alan S. Bass, PhD.

The award is in recognition of Dr. Bass' significant contributions to the field of safety pharmacology as well as his tireless dedication to the Society. Dr. Bass' body of work over the past 30 years has nurtured and cultivated the field of safety pharmacology into what it is today. He has selflessly taken on various leadership roles, not only in SPS, but also on the national and international stage. In addition to being one of the leaders in establishing continuing education courses at the SPS annual meetings, he has also mentored several SPS members who have since stepped up and made their own contributions to the field and Society.

Please be sure to attend Dr. Bass’ DSA presentation at the 2017 SPS Annual Meeting on Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 09:15.

Regional Meeting Summaries: Coventry, UK and Boston, MA

NC3Rs/SPS Regional Meeting: The Use of Human Tissues for Safety Assessment

A Safety Pharmacology Society (SPS) European regional meeting was held in collaboration with the UK's National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) and hosted by Coventry University on May 3, 2017. A total of 69 delegates (41% from academia, 38% from SMEs, 7% from pharma companies and 4% other) discussed the need for alternative approaches to animal studies. This included how the use of human tissues (encompassing donor tissues and iPSC-derived cells) could provide more early screening or mechanistic models to improve predictivity and understanding of human adverse events.

Presenters: Top row (L-R): Jan Lichtenburg (InSphero); Sam Jackson (NC3Rs); Mark Holbrook (VAST Pharma Solutions); Rob Wallis (Independent Consultant); Brian Berridge (GlaxoSmithKline); front row (L-R): Mayel Gharanei (InoCardia); Helen Prior (NC3Rs & SPS Secretary); Michelle Beharry (MHPRA); Will Redfern (AstraZeneca & SPS President); Samantha Maitland (Asterand); Karlijn Wilschut (Mimetas); Emma Lawrence (UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre); Helen Maddock (Coventry University). Not pictured: Olivier Sparagano (Coventry University); Mark Bryant (Clyde Biosciences).

Delegates took the opportunity to network and view the 19 posters and 9 exhibitor stands during lunch and drinks reception. An abstract of preliminary data from the recent human tissue survey is planned for submission at the Berlin SPS meeting, with final data and themes from this workshop submitted as a full publication later in the year.

We would like to thank the dedicated efforts of the organizers for the Coventry Meeting: Afthab Hussain (SPS Additional Meetings committee; Coventry University), Sam Jackson (NC3Rs), Helen Maddock (Inocardia Ltd; Coventry University), and Helen Prior (SPS secretary; NC3Rs).

The organising committee (L-R): Sam Jackson (NC3Rs); Helen Prior (NC3Rs & SPS Secretary); Afthab Hussain (Coventry University); Helen Maddock (Coventry University).

SPS/STP Joint Regional Meeting: Form Follows Function

The second Regional Meeting this year was held in partnership with the Society of Toxicologic Pathology at the Vertex Facility in Boston, MA, USA on May 12. The Meeting had over 100 participants and speakers covering the topic “Form Follows Function.” Presentations gave the attendees insights into: neuropathology assessments in regulatory studies, integrative safety assessment from a pathology perspective, determining adversity in nonclinical toxicity studies, applicability and use of concepts of NOEL and NOAEL in functional safety studies, new perspectives of development of safer direct-acting antiviral agents, incorporation of renal functional assessments into nonclinical safety studies, and in vitro assay for angiogenesis.

The Meeting also featured a selection of posters available for attendees to view during breaks, as well as eight tabletop vendors. Thank you to Calvert Labs, Inc., Charles River, CiToxLAB, Data Sciences International, DiscoverX, emka TECHNOLOGIES, NOTOCORD, and Xenometrics, LLC. We thank you for partnership and support for the regional meeting.

And last but not least, we would like to thank the organizers from the Boston Meeting: Donald Hodges, Alfred Botchway, Alan Bass, Alison Easter, Andrew Sonderfan, Basel Assaf, Duncan Armstrong, Malar Pannirselvam, Martin Traebert, Michelle Brignac, Simon Authier, Tiffini Brabham, Amy Kim, Binod Jacob, and Tom Steinbach.

We hope to see you at a future SPS Regional Meeting!

China Safety Pharmacology Society (CSPS) Meeting Summary

The 3rd (2017) Annual Meeting of China Safety Pharmacology Society was held in Chengdu, China

The 3rd (2017) Annual Meeting of China Safety Pharmacology Society (CSPS), organized by National Center for Safety Evaluation of Drugs (NCSED), and co-organized by WestChina-Frontier PharmaTech (WCFP) (National Chengdu New Drug Safety Evaluation Center), was successfully held in Chengdu, Sichuan Province from May 25th to 28th, 2017.

Chairman of this conference was Dr. Jufeng Wang. Dr. Guocai Lu served as chair of the Academic Committee. Over twenty safety pharmacologists gave oral presentations. They include Dr. Will Redfern (President of Safety Pharmacology Society, AstraZeneca, UK), Dr. Jean-Pierre Valentin (USB Biopharma, Belgium), Dr. Atsushi Sugiyama and Dr. Kentaro Ando, etc (Japanese Safety Society), Drs. Yang Zhao, Qingli Wang and Fanghua Huang (Centre for Drug Evaluation, CFDA), and Dr. Jufeng Wang from CSPS. In total, more than 280 scientists attended this conference. The lectures were focused on several aspects of safety pharmacology, including research development and trends, polices and regulations of safety pharmacology in China and other countries, new techniques and methods, commonly used research model and new model, data analysis, and safety pharmacology used in research/discovery of new drugs. This conference offered an opportunity for participants to discuss and communicate closely with senior safety pharmacologists. Also, the conference provided a chance for Chinese scientists to understand the latest research progress in safety pharmacology, which may improve safety pharmacology studies in China.

During the conference, CSPS had a committee meeting and selected 23 safety pharmacologists as new members of CSPS committee. Also, there was a Young Investigator Award competition. The finalist will be granted a financial aid to support him to attend 2017 Annual Meeting of SPS in Berlin, Germany.

In Memoriam: John E. Maggio, PhD, DSP

John Edward Maggio, 64, passed away on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at his home in Hyde Park from an extremely rare form of cancer. He was the Flor van Maanen Professor of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and a long-time researcher on Alzheimer's Disease. Dr. Maggio was a four-year member of SPS and was a Diplomate in Safety Pharmacology.

Dr. Maggio is survived by his wife, Suzanne Boyce, PhD, professor in the College of Allied Health Sciences, and their three children, Alexander, Claire and Jeffrey. He donated his body to the UC College of Medicine Body Donation Program. Memorial donations in Dr. Maggio's name may be made to the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, the Galapagos Conservancy, or the Lars Anderson Auto Museum.

We send our deepest condolences to his friends, family, and colleagues.

Recent Publications of Interest

Anti-inflammatory effects and anti-oxidant capacity of Myrathius arboreus (Cecropiaceae) in experimental models

SPS Collaborations and Activities


SOT Scientific Liaison Coalition (Member since 2011)
JSPS Meeting participation (February 2017)
SLC Webinar (February 2017)
SOT Global Gallery participant (March 2017)
UW Madison Distance Learning Course support (April-September 2017)
CSPS Meeting participation (May 2017)
SPS/NC3Rs Joint Regional Meeting: Coventry, UK (May 2017)
SPS/STP Joint Regional Meeting: Boston (May 2017)

Upcoming Webinars

Upcoming Meetings

Featured Meeting: In Silico Human Drug Safety and Efficacy Symposium

The In Silico Human Drug Safety and Efficacy Symposium will take place in Oxford on September 21–22, 2017. This is an exciting opportunity to discuss the latest developments on in silico assessment of drug cardiac safety and efficacy with key players across academia, industry, hospitals and regulatory agencies. Speakers will present the latest scientific advancements, and joint intersectorial efforts to accelerate the adoption of in silico methodologies for the evaluation of drug safety and efficacy. The Symposium is supported by the NC3Rs-funded consortium and the Quantitative Systems Pharmacology network. For more information, please visit the website.