SPotlight Newsletter

Spotlight Newsletter

President’s Report

Those of us fortunate to attend the 18th Annual Meeting of the Society in Washington, DC in October, were part of a very successful and informative conference. I was thrilled by the excellent diversity, innovation and quality of scientific topics. We had 560 attendees from 21 countries, with 6 CE courses (and a mini-course), 45 scientific talks, 190 posters and 50 exhibitors. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all attendees, presenters and exhibitors for making it the success it was.

When the Safety Pharmacology Society was formed in 2000, it reflected the predominant focus of safety pharmacologists at that time, which was applying mainly in vivo techniques to evaluate functional effects of small molecules across the three vital organ systems (cardiovascular, central nervous system and respiratory), within large pharma and CROs. Then, as now, there was a strong focus on the issue of drug-induced torsade de pointes and the ICHS7B was being prepared. So much has changed within the last 18 years and the ICHS7B is being amended to include a Q&A part which should reflect the recent developments on that topic. Additionally, for the first time, the proportion of posters using artificial intelligence/machine learning techniques contributed to about 10% of the total. It also became clear that some topics (e.g. translation of nonclinical results to effects in man) are too complex for one institution to address. Instead, there is a growing number of cross institutional/pharmaceutical initiatives, which share data and ideas to advance the field. This collaborative spirit is one of the virtues and assets of our Society and I believe its role will become more and more important in the future. This year we had some new initiatives (e.g. new member & student/academic speed networking event) at our annual meeting to actively welcome new members of our society and to engage them right from the start. The SPS, through its regular webinars, CE courses, regional meetings and the annual meeting itself, maintains its members at the cutting edge of emerging (and traditional) science and technology.

I have really enjoyed my year as President and it has been an honor to serve you all. I have learned a lot. Thank you all for your support during 2018. I would like to thank the AIM staff, in particular, Krystle Correll (Executive Director) and her colleagues and the Board of Directors for their dedication, innovation and professionalism.

Finally, please join me in welcoming Michael Engwall as incoming President for 2019.

I hope to see you all in Barcelona next September. Meanwhile, have a relaxing winter break!

Martin Traebert, PhD, ERT, DSP
President, Safety Pharmacology Society

Annual Meeting News

2018 Annual Meeting Highlights

Washington served as the wonderful host city for the 2018 SPS Annual Meeting. The Meeting, held September 30–October 3, featured scientific sessions and Continuing Education (CE) courses, scientific posters, an Exhibit Hall, and several sponsored sessions/receptions.

Congratulations and thank you to the 2018 Program Committee for organizing this exceptional program of sessions. Thanks also to the Continuing Education (CE) Committee for putting together six excellent Continuing Education courses and a Midday mini-course. Recognition also goes to all the session and CE course chairs, speakers, exhibitors, sponsors, and the many others whose efforts made this outstanding program possible.

The week kicked off on Sunday with our CE courses. Morning courses offered were AM1: CiPA Components in Early Cardiovascular Safety Assessment; AM2: SENDing Safety Pharmacology into the Future; and AM3: Diurnal/Circadian Rhythm and Female vs Male Preclinical Assessment in Drug Development. The Midday mini-course covered the topic “How I Survived the Ever-Changing Landscape of Safety Pharmacology!”. In the afternoon, we had PM1: Advanced Topics in Safety Pharmacology: Clinical Translation Case Studies in Central Nervous System, Cardiovascular, and Respiratory; PM2: Safety Assessment of Oligonucleotides and Gene Therapy: The Success Stories and Set-Backs over the Past 10 Years; and PM3: Advanced Central Nervous System Models: Issue Resolution and Clinical Translation.

Our inaugural New Members and First-time attendee networking event took place just before the Welcome Reception and was a fantastic way for our newer members to meet seasoned members to build their network and build mentor relationships. We also wish to thank Charles River for providing some fun giveaways (re-usable water bottles and power banks) to those who participated.

Following our networking event, the Welcome Reception and Exhibition Opening kicked off the week on Sunday evening where attendees enjoyed networking, learning about vendor services and catching up with colleagues.

The rest of the week was filled by two tracks which ran concurrently, pertinent to all areas of safety pharmacology, featuring: Keynote by Wilson Compton, MD, MPE, National Institute of Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD, who spoke on Science=Solutions for the US Opioid Crisis and our second Plenary Keynote on Tuesday, Walter Koch, PhD, Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, who spoke on The Promise and Perils of Heart Failure Gene Therapy.

Within the tracks, scientific topics covered were: Secondary Pharmacology: From the Test Tube to the Clinic, Next Generation Non-Opiate Pain Management, Safety Pharmacology/FDA Discussion on the Gastrointestinal System, CiPA Real-Life Implementation, Cardio-Oncology, Central Nervous System and Sensory Assessments: Established and Emerging Nonclinical Drug Safety Testing Strategies, Advanced Imaging Techniques in Preclinical Safety, In Silico Approaches, From Bench to Bedside—Translational Clinical Pharmacology Designs, and Interactive Case Studies.

The slides for approved presentations are available to all registered attendees online.

More than 190 posters were presented on Monday and Tuesday in the Exhibit Hall, which featured 50 vendors offering products and services related to safety pharmacology. During the program, we also featured 20 SPS Oral Communications selected from the abstract submissions.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Academic Outreach Committee hosted a student and academic networking lunch where everyone participated in “speed networking” with SPS Members. We hope that everyone learned something new and were able to build their networks. We look forward to building on this event and offering them again at future meetings.

On Wednesday morning, SPS President Martin Traebert welcomed attendees to the Annual Members’ Meeting and Awards Ceremony. Certificates were presented to each of the outgoing officers with thanks for their service to the Society. Dr. Traebert then officially passed the gavel to Dr. Michael Engwall, who thanked him for this leadership as president of the Society for the past year. Dr. Traebert recognized the Jr. Investigator and Student Travel Award recipients, Publication award winners, and announced the Jr. Investigator Poster Competition recipients.

The 2018 Distinguished Service Award Recipient, Dr. Mary Jeanne Kallman, was introduced and welcomed to the stage to give her personal journey during her presentation “How Did I Get Here?”. We highly recommend reading the interview in the 2018 Fall Issue of SPotlight to learn more about Dr. Kallman.

2018 Publication Award Recipients

Last year, we introduced three new publication awards (Translational Safety Pharmacology; Most Impactful Publication; Technological Innovation) the recipients of the 2018 awards were announced during the Awards Ceremony at the 2018 Annual Meeting, and are listed below. Congratulations to all who contributed to these publications!

Most Impactful Publication Award

Bernard Fermini, Jules C. Hancox, Najah Abi-Gerges, Matthew Bridgland-Taylor, Khuram W. Chaudhary, Thomas Colatsky, William Crumb, Bruce Damiano, Gul Erdemli, Gary Gintant, John Imredy, John Koerner, James Kramer, Paul Levesque, Zhihua Li, Anders Lindqvist, Carlos A. Obejero-Paz, David Rampe, Kohei Sawada, David G. Strauss, and Jamie I. Vandenberg

For the publication: A New Perspective in the Field of Cardiac Safety Testing through the Comprehensive In Vitro Proarrhythmia Assay Paradigm

Technological Innovation Award

Karen Tse, Rowland Sillito, Amy Keerie, Rachel Collier, Claire Grant, Natasha A. Karp, Cathy Vickers, Kathryn Chapman, J. Douglas Armstrong, William S. Redfern

For the publication: Pharmacological validation of individual animal locomotion, temperature and behavioural analysis in group-housed rats using a novel automated home cage analysis system: A comparison with the modified Irwin test

Translational Safety Pharmacology Award

Eunjung Park, Gary A Gintant, Daoqin Bi, Devi Kozeli, Syril D Pettit, Jennifer B Pierson, Matthew Skinner, James Willard, Todd Wisialowski, John Koerner and Jean-Pierre Valentin

For the publication: Can non-clinical repolarization assays predict the results of clinical thorough QT studies? Results from a research consortium

2018 Post Meeting Survey Results

See You in Barcelona!

We look forward to seeing you in Barcelona, Spain for our 2019 SPS Annual Meeting. Program planning began on December 12, and we are excited to share the details with you on our website in the New Year. So, save the date for September 23–26, 2019 and we hope to see you in Barcelona at the Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona (CCIB)!

Pledge Your Support for 2019!

The Safety Pharmacology Society thanks all our 2018 sponsors for their generous contributions, and looks forward to partnering with you again in 2019. To pledge your support for the 2019 Meeting, please contact Krystle Correll.

Exhibitors, Booth sales are open for 2019!

The Safety Pharmacology Society thanks all 50 companies who joined us in 2018 as Exhibitors! We hope to see you again in Barcelona, Spain. If you wish to sign up for your booth for 2019, please contact Amy Willis, or visit our 2019 Exhibitor Portal.


Regional Meeting Summaries: Brussels, Boston, and Bay Area

SPS Brussels Regional Meeting: Safety Pharmacology Meets Toxicology

A Safety Pharmacology Society European regional meeting was held and hosted by UCB on September 6. A total of 67 delegates (9% from academia, 46% from CROs, 36% from pharma companies and 9% other) discussed the topic of “Safety Pharmacology Meets Toxicology”. The full agenda can be found here.

Delegates took the opportunity to network and view posters and vendors during lunch, breaks and reception.

We wish to thank the following Vendors and Sponsors for their support of this Meeting:

We also wish to recognize the organizers of the Meeting: Marie-Luce Brodzinski-Rosseels, Jean-Pierre Valentin, Annie Delaunois, Simon Authier, Stephanie Biliald, David Gallacher, Sophie Galy, Andrea Greiter-Wilke, Jean-Michel Guillon, Celine Hechard, Eric Martel, Aileen Milne, Tomas Mow, Marc Niehoff, Helen Prior, Michael Pugsley, Will Redfern, Brian Roche, Greet Teuns, and Martin Traebert.

SPS Boston Regional Meeting: Emerging Topics on the Cutting Edge of Safety Pharmacology

We had two meetings that took place on November 14 this year, the first of these two was hosted by Vertex in Boston, MA. A total of 78 delegates (3% from academia, 42% from CROs, 40% from pharma companies and 15% other) discussed “Emerging Topic on the Cutting Edge of Safety Pharmacology”. The full agenda can be found here.

Attendees took the opportunity to network and view posters and tabletop vendors during lunch, breaks and reception.

We wish to thank the following Vendors and Sponsors for their partnership and support of this Meeting:

We also wish to recognize the organizers of the Meeting: Alan Bass (Merck), Alison Easter (Biogen), Amy Kim (H3 Biomedicine), Andrew Sonderfan (Lysosomal Therapeutics, Inc), Donald Hodges (Vertex), George Thomas (Calvert Labs, Inc), Duncan Armstrong (Novartis), Kimberly M. Hoagland (Vertex), Malar Pannirselvam (Vertex), Martin Traebert (Novartis), Michael Pugsley, Michelle Brignac (Vertex), Simon Authier (Citoxlab)

SPS Bay Area Regional Meeting: Filling Translational Gaps in Safety Assessment

The second Regional Meeting that took place on November 14 this year was hosted by Gilead in Foster City, CA. A total of 54 delegates (6% from academia, 44% from CROs, 39% from pharma companies and 11% other) discussed “Filling Translational Gaps in Safety Assessment”. A full agenda can be found here.

Attendees took the opportunity to network and view posters and tabletop vendors during lunch, breaks and reception.

We wish to thank the following Vendors and Sponsors for their partnership and support of this Meeting:

Thank you again for the support from the volunteer organizers, vendors and sponsors of our 2018 Regional Meetings. We hope to see you at a future SPS Regional Meeting!

Thank You and Season’s Greetings from SPS Headquarters!

From all of us at SPS Headquarters, we wish you a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

JPTM Invitation to Submit Manuscripts

Dear Colleagues,

The Journal of Pharmacological & Toxicological Methods is the leading international journal devoted exclusively to experimental procedures used by pharmacologists and toxicologists and publishes focused issues that are devoted to a single research topic. Once again, the forthcoming focused issue centers on “Methods in Safety Pharmacology”. You are invited to contribute to this, the 16th special issue of the journal on this topic, especially if you have presented at the recent Safety Pharmacology Society meeting in Washington, DC. For this special issue, you are asked to write a manuscript that may be an "Appraisal of state-of-the-art" or "Historical review" or simply describe a particular model, method, technique or apparatus used in the conduct of Safety Pharmacology studies. This focused issue will be devoted to manuscripts that describe reviews/methods of fundamental importance to Safety Pharmacology. All methods manuscripts must describe techniques that are utilized, optimized and validated according to international ethics and scientific quality standards and reflect proper study design, conduct of experiments, data recording methods and data reporting practices. Thus, as it has in the past, this issue will be a primary resource aid to individuals in academia and industry that are interested in understanding Safety Pharmacology principles/methods and will provide a comprehensive overview of the most advanced procedures used in the conduct of Safety Pharmacology studies today.

On behalf of the Journal and the Safety Pharmacology Society, I am inviting expert researchers who actively conduct studies of this nature, and especially those who presented at the latest SPS meeting, to submit manuscripts for inclusion in this focused issue of the Journal of Pharmacological & Toxicological Methods. As the annual Guest Editor for this exciting focused issue I would very much welcome the opportunity to work with you on this project. Note that manuscripts should be submitted online or login to the Journal using your EVISE account (please follow Author Instructions) by February 22, 2019.

This issue will be of greater significant value to readers than previous issues because of the expanded topics presented and discussed at the Safety Pharmacology Society meeting in Washington, DC. The Journal received an Impact Factor of 2.38 from Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports 2016.

Note that each manuscript will be subjected to the normal peer review process and should conform to the “Instructions to Authors”. Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me. I thank you in advance and look forward to hearing from you regarding this endeavor.

Yours sincerely,
Michael K. Pugsley, MSc., PhD., FBPhS., DSP, Associate Editor,
Journal of Pharmacological & Toxicological Methods

Year-End Giving? Don't Forget SPS!


I write today to ask you to consider a personal donation to the Safety Pharmacology Society (SPS). For seventeen years, SPS has served as the leading voice for the global safety pharmacology community, and we hope to continue to provide answers to critical questions that matter to patients, regulators, and scientists for many years to come.

We have a year-end fundraising goal of $5,000. In addition to expanding our educational webinar offerings, donations will be used to support Junior/Student Travel Award opportunities for the Annual Meeting, and new initiatives identified by members in our most recent survey.

SPS provides the platform to share resources, research, and best practices, but we cannot do our job without the involvement and representation of all of you. That's why we are asking you directly to consider sending SPS a tax-deductible, charitable donation. Every contribution, large or small, makes a huge difference to SPS. As the end of the year approaches, please give what you can, whether it is $10, $50, $100, or an amount you generously feel appropriate. It all matters.

If each SPS Member contributes just $10 each, we will reach our goal easily! Any amount you can contribute will go a long way to ensure that we can continue to pursue these opportunities and more in 2019. The Society and your colleagues thank you for your consideration of a donation to SPS and appreciate your support for the betterment of the science and our discipline, and we welcome your continued commitment and input. Your contribution is a key element in the on-going success of the Society and our commitment to invest in the future. We look forward to continued success, thanks to the generosity of individuals like you.

Thanks for your consideration and generosity.

SPS Headquarters

2018 Diplomate in Safety Pharmacology (DSP) Results

Formal review and scoring of the 2018 Diplomate in Safety Pharmacology (DSP) exam has been completed and notifications of results were sent on November 29. If you took the exam and do not receive notification of your results, please contact Krystle Correll.

10th Annual Japanese Safety Pharmacology Society Meeting

Date: March 1 (Fri)–2 (Sat), 2019
Venue: Ota City Industrial Plaza (PiO)
President: Kentaro Ando (Professor of Chiba Institute of Science)

Collaborations and Activities

SOT Scientific Liaison Coalition (Member since 2011)
JSPS Meeting Participation (February 2018)
SLC Webinar (February 2018)
DGPT/SPS German Pharm-Tox Summit course support/participation (February 2018)
SOT Global Gallery participant (March 2018)
UW Madison Distance Learning Course support (April–October 2018)

Upcoming Webinars

Upcoming Meetings