Metabolism and Environmental Degradation Studies Come Under Scrutiny at New International Conference

Leatherhead, 9 May: Smithers Viscient’s inaugural conference ‘Advances in Metabolism & Environmental Degradation Science’ will put the spotlight on current practice in the metabolism and degradation studies that form the basis of almost every pesticide registration data package filed today.

Taking place in Dusseldorf on 5-6 June, the conference gives regulatory scientists from the crop protection industry, contract research organisations and regulatory authorities a dedicated forum to discuss the new guidelines and requirements that continue to evolve in this heavily regulated sector. The two-day conference will feature an expert speaker panel with case studies from world-class organisations Syngenta, BASF, Bayer CropScience, FERA, University of Cambridge, Huntingdon Life Sciences and Charles River Laboratories highlighting specific approaches that have been taken to comply with newly imposed testing regimes.

On the opening day of the conference EC Regulation 1107/2009 will be given particular attention in a paper from Dr Michael Gassen, Global Head of Metabolism & Environmental Fate, Harlan Laboratories, covering new test guidelines for fish metabolism and fish feeding studies. He will discuss how to obtain data on bioaccumulation and metabolism in an efficient way following the principles of the 3R. Dr Doris Ebert, Environmental Fate Expert at BASF, will focus on the aquatic mineralization studies that have become mandatory under the revised OECD 309 guideline. Dr Ebert will share BASF’s first experiences with this study type as well as a look at how results might contribute to the overall environmental fate evaluation of an active substance in the registration process.

Current safety assessments of isomeric pesticides in the regulatory environment will be explored by Dr Markus Radzom, Head of Global Structure Analytics at BASF SE Crop Protection division. Whilst many stereoisomers are similar on a physico-chemical basis they can possess different activity, toxicology and metabolic fate making a risk evaluation for single isomers necessary. Dr Radzom will present a science-based tiered approach to hazard and risk evaluation of stereoisomers that not only reduces the need for additional animal testing but also minimises barriers to innovation in crop protection chemistry. The day concludes with an evening dinner at Dusseldorf’s Rheinturm Top 180 restaurant where delegates can discuss the day’s proceedings and continue networking.

Day two of the conference will focus on developments in metabolism technology including a piece of cutting edge research into the development of predictive models that allow the identification of sites of metabolism independent from the metabolic enzymes involved in biotransformations. Prof Kirchmair of Cambridge University will demonstrate how computational methods can be integrated into the lead discovery and optimisation phase to expedite the research of agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals and increase success rates. There follow papers on quantifying low-level radiolabelled metabolites, labelling agrochemicals, and an assessment of the Rumen Fluid Technology developed by Syngenta and used to achieve conjugate cleavage with minimal artefact production.

In addition, Dr Mansoor Saeed, Senior Manager Accurate Mass Spectrometry at Smithers Viscient will deliver a paper on how accurate mass spectrometry has transformed metabolite identification allowing for more accurate and specific measurements, for example in the structure elucidation of unknown metabolites. He will discuss the limitations in the current technology as well as the challenges posed by post-analysis and storage of the huge amount of data generated and the requirements for perceptive data processing.

For more information about the conference please visit

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All press enquiries to Jo Martin,, +44 (0)1372 802000.