Strengthening ties and advancing emerging innovation in global regulatory science

Chief Scientist Phil Reeves APVMA
15 November 2017
Phil Reeves, Chief Scientist

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) collaborates with a wide range of bodies and agencies domestically and internationally, to keep informed, align our regulatory approaches and work on regulatory matters of common interest.

Building and maintaining relationships with counterpart organisations also helps our agency to maintain its strong reputation as a leader in regulatory science and risk assessment.

Recently I had the opportunity to strengthen the APVMA’s ties with our international counterparts, meeting with other government, industry, and academic and research scientific experts to discuss and exchange knowledge on regulatory science issues at the annual Global Summit on Regulatory Science (GSRS2017) in Brazil.

With this year’s theme emerging technologies for food and drug safety, the summit provided a valuable forum for regulatory and research scientists to come together to exchange views on how to develop, apply, and implement innovative methodologies into the regulatory assessments by their respective countries, as well as harmonise regulatory approaches.

The APVMA has a particular interest in how technology leads to novel applications and systems in agriculture and animal husbandry, making the information and collaboration provided highly relevant to our agency’s work.

Topics such as nanotechnology, imaging, omics (for those who don’t know, ‘omics’ is a suffix, and it depends on whether you’re working on the genome, in which case it’s genomics, or if you’re working on proteins it would become proteomics) for translational science and personalised medicine featured heavily.  Delegates looked at latest information on emerging technologies, addressed research questions and discussed best ways to translate early research into real-world applications.

It was pleasing to see a report developed by our agency Nanotechnologies for pesticides and veterinary medicines: regulatory considerations was well received by delegates. Published in 2015, the report was the first of its kind to deal with both nanopesticides and veterinary nanomedicines and was prepared by specialists from Australia and overseas with my guidance and leadership.

The aim of the report is not to provide formal guidance but information to stakeholders as they develop their products in this rapidly evolving field. The resource is therefore just as relevant today.

Much was also discussed by delegates on their countries’ future approaches to regulatory assessments, providing some useful insights for what we can apply to agricultural and veterinary (agvet) chemical regulation in Australia. These include high throughput screening methodologies based on ‘omics’ technologies, induced pluripotent stem cells, and organ-on-a-chip technologies.

Our collaboration with other regulators has continued since the summit, with representatives from Brazil’s agricultural, environmental, health and livestock ministries joining guests from other Australian regulatory agencies at our offices here in Canberra in October.

The visit provided our nations an opportunity to learn even more from each other’s extensive knowledge in agvet chemical regulation and to further strengthen our global relationships. 

Strengthening ties and advancing emerging innovation in global regulatory science