There is a patent demand in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and chemical industry for new alternative testing in order to assess the acute toxicity of new drugs, cosmetic ingredients or industrial chemical products that have to be in contact with humans or the natural environment.
The aim is to reduce the time for and cost of studies for the development of new active elements and reduce the number of experimental animals. Equally, these tests enable direct work on human cell lines instead of on animals, in order to study the toxicity of the liver or kidney, amongst other organs.
To this end, the validation of this new in vitro work methodology, compared to the conventional in vivo one is urgently needed, not only by corporate industry but also by the European Directives themselves. Both REACH (the UE regulating body for chemical products) and the 7th amendment to the Directive on cosmetics propose the replacement in, the short term, of animal experimentation. Currently, while a number of animal testing procedures for toxicity have been successfully substituted by alternative methods, systemic toxicities require new strategic tests to reach a suitable level of safety for the consumer.
Jose Maria Goenaga | Basque research
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