The additional funding comes on top of the €50m programme that the European Commission and Cosmetics Europe have jointly invested in the SEURAT-1 (Safety Evaluation Ultimatly Replacing Animal Testing) initiative, which was originally set up as a five-year programme.
SEURAT-1 is the body that was set up by the European Commission and Cosmetics Europe, charged with the responsibility of managing the research of animal testing alternatives for cosmetic ingredients.
The new funding was confirmed at a SEURAT-1 committee conference, held in Lisbon last week, when it was decided that the additional research funds would be necessary to give a boost to an additional 4 years of research that started from January 1st this year..
Animal testing alternative represent a big 'challenge'
Speaking at the conference, Dr. Rob Taalman, director of research and project management for SEURAT-1, pointed out the fact that the development of non-animal alternative methods has presented the industry a considerable challenge
“The development, validation and acceptance of alternative methods by regulatory bodies can only be considered as a long-term effort,” he said.
The additional funds will kick off an extended programme that will focus on three core areas – pre-validation for skin sensitization and genotoxicity, together with eye irritation testing.
Skin sensitivity and eye irritation
Pre-validation for skin sensitization will focus on what is termed ‘promising’ toolbox test methods and data integrations, while the 3-D model for genotoxicity will focus on the finalizing development of the pre-validation method.
The additional research into eye irritation will focus on the addressing the last remaining gaps for the testing method.
“It is important that all AAT research, including SEURAT-1, is considered in the framework of creating a longer-term road-map to ensure that all European research efforts are united – and research investments optimised – in order to achieve workable solutions to replace animal testing as soon as possible,” said Cosmetics Europe director-general, Bertil Heernik.