Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New safety test predicts reactions to novel drugs and cosmetics

28.05.2013
A simple lab-based skin test which eliminates the risk of adverse reactions to new drugs, cosmetics and household chemicals has been developed by a Newcastle University, UK team.

It uses real human skin and immune cells to show any reaction such as a rash or blistering indicating a wider immune response within the body.

The development is timely as it offers a reliable alternative for the cosmetic industry as a ban on the sale of any cosmetic product tested on animals came into effect across Europe in March.

Professor Anne Dickinson from the Institute of Cellular Medicine recently presented the technology at the In-Vitro Testing Industrial Platform (IVTIP) conference in Brussels. She said: "This skin assay offers an accurate and rapid alternative to animal testing and provides the bridge between the laboratory tests for novel drugs and the first stage of clinical trials in humans.

"It is accurate and faster than anything currently around and can save companies time and resources. The test identifies drugs or products which are likely to cause a reaction or just not work effectively in humans."

The test called Skimune™, which is trademarked and has a patent pending, has been successfully tested by a number of large pharmaceutical companies on drugs in development and provides a reliable result within two weeks.

By revealing skin sensitisation or an adverse reaction that may not be identified by use of an animal or computer model, the assay can provide vital information which will allow a drug company to make informed decisions earlier saving significant development costs.

Professor Dickinson said: "We've already shown this works as a way of testing new drugs for adverse immune reactions that can't be identified when tested in animal models."

Working with the National Institute of Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC) the Newcastle team have been testing monoclonal antibodies for adverse responses. Professor Dickinson added: "Our Skimune™ test would have predicted the terrible outcome at Northwick Park in 2006. Then six men taking part in a clinical trial had severe reactions to a monoclonal antibody resulting in organ failure. Previous laboratory and animal research gave no indication that this was likely to occur.

"Our test would have picked up the risk because it is a skin-based model of the human immune response."

The skin assay has been developed using cells isolated from blood samples from a range of healthy volunteers. Differentiated into dendritic cells which activate the T-cells, these in turn create a cytokine storm. Useful for fighting infection, if this immune response goes unchecked it can be extremely harmful to the individual. Skimune™ provides a histology skin damage read out enabling the severity and potency of reaction to be gauged.

Professor Richard Stebbings, principle scientist at NIBSC welcomed the development adding: "This assay offers a valuable alternative to animal models, used for safety testing of biological medicines and which are often poorly predictive of human responses."

Professor Anne Dickinson has spent 20 years working to understand how we prevent the body rejecting donor tissue such as bone marrow. This technology has been developed from a skin explant model for predicting a potentially serious complication of bone marrow transplantation, 'graft versus host' disease - a common complication following the transplant.

It has been supported by the UK's innovation agency with a Technology Strategy Board grant for the development of a prototype.

As well as patent pending the Skimune™ test, the Newcastle University team have set up a company Alcyomics Limited which aims to take the technology forward to offer personalised medicine, enabling an individual to be tested for drug responses.

More information on the technology can be found on http://www.alcyomics.com.

Karen Bidewell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ncl.ac.uk
http://www.alcyomics.com

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>