Burleson Research Technologies signs deal to offer GARD sensitization and potency assays

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

image courtesy of SenzaGen
image courtesy of SenzaGen

Related tags Gene Asthma Immune system

SenzaGen announced today that is has licensed the chemical safety testing method to BRT. The contract researcher will now be offering the tests to its cosmetic, chemical, and pharmaceutical clients here in the US.

GARDtests are gene expression tests that expose cells (of human myeloid origin) to the chemical or substance in question. Then after an incubation period, the RNA is collected and the gene expression data is translated into a color graph that indicates whether sensitization (or allergic reaction) will result from contact with the chemical being tested.

Accuracy is the most important quality of any testing method, but BRT is also glad to bring GARDtests in-house because they are an alternative to animal testing.

“We are looking forward to providing our customers access to the GARDtests – a robust animal free test with high accuracy that has potential to become a widely used method for characterizing allergy provoking properties of chemical substances,” ​says Gary Burleson, CEO of North Carolina – based Burleson Research Technologies, in a press release about the researcher’s deal with SenzaGen.

“Our experiences,” ​he says, “from participating in the successful validation trial show that that the test is both reliable and easy to perform.”

International partners

SenzaGen is a Swiss company that got its start at Lund University. It spun out of the University in 2010, went commercial in 2014, and established a California – based subsidiary in 2016.

The company’s tests take data from over 200 genes into consideration, genes, which according to SenzaGen, “cover the entire immune reaction and are relevant to predicting the risk of hypersensitivity.”

Trial data shows that “the tests have over 90 percent reliability. This compares with the current predominant test method, experiments on mice, which has an accuracy of 70-75 percent,” ​according to the company’s press materials.

The sensitivity test reveals if a chemical or substance has allergenic properties; and the potency test indicates the intensity of any resulting allergic reaction.

“Our test is the best performing in vitro method, outperforming available animal methods​,” boasts Anki Malmborg Hager, CEO of SenzaGen.

And, she explains that “This new license agreement with a highly respected American CRO [contract research organization] is a significant step to provide GARD to a broader market and is crucial for meeting the US customers´ demand with local service providers.”

“We are confident that GARD will play a prominent role in the ongoing process to reduce the use of animals in chemical testing,”​ she says.



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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