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Industry Test Leader Wins PETA Award for Rabbitless Research

Written by Michelle Kretzer | April 2, 2013

As a global leader in the development of toxicology tests for chemicals, the MatTek Corporation has made quite a name for itself among government agencies and manufacturers of all types. But one thing you will never hear the company associated with is animal testing, which is why MatTek has scored a PETA award. 

© Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals

“MatTek is extremely gratified to be recognized by PETA and appreciates PETA’s support in its quest to produce new and improved in vitro test methods that reduce or eliminate animal testing,” said Dr. Mitch Klausner, MatTek’s vice president of scientific affairs. The chemical engineering professors from MIT who founded the company discovered that by creating in vitro (test tube) test methods using skin constructs made from human-derived cells, they could not only save companies money and spare animals but also provide better protection for humans.

The Skin That’s Saving Rabbits’ Hides

Among the advanced testing methods that MatTek has created is Epiderm, a 3-dimensional model formed from human skin cells. Epiderm provides scientists with a superior indicator of how human skin will react to corrosive and irritating chemicals than the skin of live rabbits does. PETA and PETA UK have helped get Epiderm into use in laboratories around the world, saving tens of thousands of rabbits every year from having chemicals smeared onto their shaved, abraded backs to observe whether the substance burns through or irritates the skin. MatTek has also developed impressive 3-D, human-cell–derived tissue construct models to replace the use of animals in eye, inhalation, immune, and other tests.

And the Award Goes to …

Because MatTek is making toxicology testing humane, more reliable, faster, and less expensive, PETA is giving the company its inaugural Laurie and Carlee McGrath Award, in the amount of $5,000. The award was made possible by the McGrath Family Foundation, which generously supports PETA’s work to replace animals in laboratories

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  • Sonya Gendron says:

    Finally a company that realizes when something is absolutely unnecessary! Thank you, I commend you and hope others are inspired by you in your ethical decision.

  • Frances Osborn says:

    What a marvelous and uplifting story. MatTek is truly a company to be proud of. Keep up the good work!

  • Greg says:

    Great news!!!

  • Manel D says:

    Thank you and god bless you all for the very kind decision that you all have taken to NOT TO DO THE RESEARCH ON BEAUTIFUL DEFENCELESS VOICELESS ANIMALS. With all these new technologies there is NO NEED to use these helpless innocent living creatures as puppetiers to do the research. Many other ways to do the testing. I am glad this useless and vicious unethical immoral animal abuse is coming to an end gradually.

  • Esme says:

    Wow, great job MatTek! Thank you for being progressive and humane. I love these kinds of stories and look forward to a future where animals are never used in testing.

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