A quantitative weight of evidence assessment of confidence in modes-of-action and their human relevance

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A quantitative weight of evidence (QWoE) methodology was developed to assess confidence in postulated mode(s) of action for adverse effects in animal toxicity studies. The QWoE is appropriate for assessing adverse effects as relevant endpoints for classification and labeling purposes. The methodology involves definition of mode of actions and scoring supporting data for all key steps using predefined criteria for quality and relevance/strength of effects. Scores for all key steps are summarized, and the summary score is compared to the maximal achievable score for the mode of action. The ratio of the summary score to the maximal achievable scores gives an indication of confidence in a specific mode of action in animals. The mode of action in animals with highest confidence is then taken forward to assess appropriateness to humans. If one of the key steps cannot occur in humans, the mode of action is not relevant to humans. The methodology developed is applied to four case studies.

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