CeeTox Validation Trials, Funded by PETA, Show Method May Soon Replace Animals in Chemical Testing
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 sensitisation 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 organisation that officially approves methods for chemical testing required by government regulation.
PETA’s support represents the first NGO-funded validation study of a non-animal method for government-required chemical testing. “This PETA-funded trial is an important step towards validating a reliably predictive full-replacement non-animal test for regulatory use”, says Tim Mitchell, president of CeeTox, Inc.
Jessica Sandler, director of PETA US’ Regulatory Testing Division, says, “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”.
This progress towards 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 organisation 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.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is an affiliate of PETA US, the largest animal rights organisation 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 organisation providing innovative solutions to stimulate sustainable development. ABS offers (i) R&D – biological and molecular methods for human health diagnostics and bio-monitoring, (ii) validation of alternative biological test methods and (iii) GLP/non-GLP contract testing. For more information, please visit www.vito.be.