Hunt for toxicity biomarkers helps replace animal testing of cosmetics

For the past two years, toxicology testing on animals has not been permitted in Europe's cosmetics industry. So that has accelerated a search for a way to determine, in vitro, whether repeated exposure of cosmetics has toxic effects. The hunt for biomarkers that indicate repeated-dose toxicity is an important part of the new animal-test-free cosmetics industry.

Roche Diagnostics recently put out a release saying that its xCELLigence RTCA monitoring systems are being used in the European Union's DETECTIVE ("Detection of endpoints and biomarkers for repeated dose toxicity using in vitro systems") Project, a joint study funded by the European Cosmetics Association and the European Commission.

These studies are bridging the gap between the animal-testing ban and the lack of a technological solution to replace it. "This is especially true for the testing of repeated dose effects--the effects of products and ingredients used repeatedly over longer periods of time," Roche said in its news release.

The DETECTIVE project is one of six separate projects of the SEURAT ("Safety Evaluation Ultimately Replacing Animal Testing"), which began in January and will continue for the next five years. At first, the DETECTIVE project will use human hepatic, cardiac and renal models as targets to test repeated-dose toxicity. From those tests, biomarkers for toxicity are expected to be found and applied to other organs and body systems.

- read the release from Roche Diagnostics