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New version of QSAR toolbox launched

The OECD has launched version four of its QSAR Toolbox, with some features designed specifically for companies looking to register substances under REACH ahead of the 2018 deadline.

According to 2014 figures for REACH registration dossiers, the QSAR Toolbox is the second most popular tool for QSARs after EPI Suite, including Ecosar. But their overall use remains low and strongly endpoint dependent, says Tomasz Sobański, project manager for the work at ECHA. QSARs are more frequently used for fate and environmental endpoints and use for high tier human health endpoints is "marginal".

Furthermore, 65% of the time they represent only supporting evidence in, for example, weight-of-evidence justifications, rather than standalone evidence.

Mr Sobański and his team are finalising the figures for the 2017 report on "the use of alternatives to testing on animals for the REACH regulation". Publication is expected on 1 June. But based on the preliminary work he believes that use of QSARs and the QSAR Toolbox in registrations is rising.

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