Non-Animal Method Identifies Chemicals That Cause Allergic Reactions in Humans
For Immediate Release:
August 6, 2013
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382
Kalamazoo, Mich. — Work conducted by Michigan-based contract research organization CeeTox and funding from London-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) U.K. has resulted in an important step toward replacing animal-based testing methods. CeeTox today reports the positive results of a study that has the potential to save tens of thousands of animals from experiments.
The study, conducted by the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO)’s Applied BIO & Molecular Systems (ABS) team in Belgium, has confirmed that CeeTox’s skin sensitization assay, SenCeeTox®, can correctly identify chemicals that cause allergic responses in humans. This non-animal method uses a 3-dimensional, human-derived skin model that accurately replicates many of the key traits of normal human skin. It replaces the use of guinea pigs or mice who are injected with or have a substance applied to their shaved skin to determine an allergic response.
CeeTox trained VITO-ABS to conduct its SenCeeTox assay as part of an effort to ensure that one laboratory’s results can 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, an important step in the validation process. Because the results from the SenCeeTox test have been so promising, further validation studies will be conducted by Cosmetics Europe, the EU’s personal-care trade association. Results will be submitted to the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods, the organization that officially approves methods for chemical testing required by government regulation.
PETA U.K.’s support represents the first nongovernmental organization–funded validation study of a non-animal method for government-required chemical testing. “This PETA-funded trial is an important step toward validating a reliably predictive full-replacement non-animal test for regulatory use,” says Tim Mitchell, president of CeeTox, Inc.
Jessica Sandler, director of PETA U.S.’ Regulatory Testing Division, says, “We are excited to be the first animal rights organization 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 sensitization testing.”
This progress toward official approval of SenCeeTox is particularly timely in light of the ban on sales of cosmetics in Europe that have been tested on animals.
CeeTox, founded in 2003, is a contract research organization focused on in vitro toxicity and safety screening of new products, including cosmetics, personal-care products, agricultural and household chemicals, and drug candidates. In vitro typically refers to a test that is performed in a cell model instead of in or on an animal. For more information, please visit www.ceetox.com.
About PETA U.K.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) U.K. is an affiliate of PETA U.S., the largest animal rights organization in the world, which has more than 3 million members and supporters. PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in the clothing trade, in laboratories, and in the entertainment industry. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.
VITO is an independent research and technology organization providing innovative solutions to stimulate sustainable development. ABS offers (i) R&D—biological and molecular methods for human health diagnostics and biomonitoring, (ii) validation of alternative biological test methods, and (iii) GLP/non-GLP contract testing. For more information, please visit www.vito.be.