New animal testing alternative recommended over current method in US

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

New animal testing alternative recommended over current method in US
The Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods has recommended a new non-animal testing method to identify estrogen agonist and antagonist activity that it says; “provides a number of benefits over the method currently employed in the US.”

Estrogen, which is found in some cosmetic products, stimulates the fibroblast to make collagen and hyaluronic acid and is significantly used in anti-aging products.

The BG1Luc estrogen receptor (ER) transactivation (TA), developed by Xenobiotic Detection Systems can identify substances that induces or inhibits human ER activity in vitro.

Tried and Tested

The method, also backed by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences was found to offer several advantages over the existing ER TA method after being nominated to the ICCVAM for an interlaboratory validation study.

In its report, the committee said the new test “features validation for use over a wider concentration range of test substances, the potential to detect a wider range of ER-active substances and the ability to identify both substances that induce and inhibit the estrogen receptor​.”

The ICCVAM concluded that the accuracy of the method is at least the equivalent to the only ER TA test currently in a US. “Preliminary results are promising, and it is expected that this method will be incorporated into the Tox21 screening paradigm in 2012​.”

The search goes on

The search to find cosmetic testing methods without the use of animals is heavily documented, amidst growing pressure.

In Europe, legislation restricts animal testing within the cosmetic industries, and companies are increasingly looking at alternative systems to ensure that their products are safe to use.

A full marketing ban is supposed to be implemented by 2013 on all animal-tested products and the European Commission has highlighted the importance of developing alternative methods.

The ICCVAM evaluation is detailed in a report "ICCVAM Test Method Evaluation Report: The Lumi-Cell ER (BG1Luc ER TA) Test Method: An In Vitro Assay for Identifying Human Estrogen Receptor Agonist and Antagonist Activity of Chemicals (NIH Publication No. 11-7850)​."

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