Non-animal method identifies allergy-causing chemicals

Published: 7-Aug-2013

CeeTox validation trials mean SenCeeTox method may replace animal based tests to identify chemicals that cause allergic responses in humans

Michigan based contract researcher CeeTox has reported positive results of a study into its skin sensitisation assay to identify chemicals that cause allergic responses in humans. The study into the SenCeeTox assay was funded by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) UK and conducted by the Flemish Institute for Technological Research’s (VITO) Applied Bio and Molecular Systems (ABS) team in Belgium. The non-animal method uses a three dimensional, human derived skin model that accurately replicates many of the key traits of normal human skin.

According to CeeTox, VITO-ABS was trained to conduct the SenCeeTox assay as part of an effort to ensure that one laboratory’s results could be successfully duplicated in other laboratories. SenCeeTox accurately predicted the test chemical’s ability to elicit an allergic reaction for all compounds tested at the laboratory, claimed as an important step in the validation process.

Because the results have been so promising, further validation studies will be conducted by Cosmetics Europe and results will be submitted to the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods.

“This PETA funded trial is an important step towards validating a reliably predictive full replacement non-animal test for regulatory use,” commented Tim Mitchell, President of CeeTox.

Jessica Sandler, Director of PETA US’s Regulatory Testing Division, added: “We are excited to be the first animal rights organisation involved in the validation of a non-animal test method and to move the science forward to save tens of thousands of mice and guinea pigs from painful skin sensitisation testing.”

PETA noted that progress towards the official approval of SenCeeTox was particularly timely in light of the ban on sales of cosmetics in Europe that have been tested on animals.

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