The research project, called NCS TOX 1.2016-2017, is a joint initiative by the European Organisation of Cosmetic Ingredients Industries and Services (Unitis) and the Botanical alliance.
According to the two bodies, NCS TOX will focus on cosmetic and nutraceutical areas. It aims to create a database of the toxicological profiles and relevant testing information related to natural substances.
“Upon completion of the whole project, the NCS TOX predictive database will enable to update and carry out the toxicological profile of botanical extracts and to set up the safety report of finished products,” Unitis and the Botanical alliance state.
NCS TOX began in September this year, with 11 key players in the relevant segments committed to the project.
The 2016 - 2017 part of the project is considered its first phase, according to UNITIS and the Botanical alliance.
This stage will focus on three endpoints: genotoxicity, systemic toxicity and sensitisation.
“The objective of this first stage, expected to last for 13 months, aims at studying 90 molecular groups in botanicals to determine, through an evaluation based on existing data, text mining, in silico models and expertise, their level of risk regarding genotoxicity, systemic toxicity and sensitization endpoints,” the organisations state.
Plug the gap of the animal testing ban
The organisations say that the project is intended to fuel innovation within the industry through knowledge-sharing, and counter what they consider to be the ‘barriers’ introduced by the recent animal testing ban.
“Being a significant and valuable progress in terms of natural substances’ safety, NCS TOX database shall constitute a major driving force for innovation by tearing down barriers raised after the complete animal testing ban, by the lack of adequate validated key alternative methods to demonstrate products’ safety.”
It is also set to help formulators be confident of the safety of the ingredients they use, and promote the use of naturals in the beauty supply chain, they state.
When it comes to the endpoint of the impact on to consumers, the ultimate benefits of the NCS TOX project are twofold, according to UNITIS and the Botanical alliance.
“Beyond strengthening consumer’s safety, a better knowledge of natural substances will give in their eyes a greater credibility and trust to plant-based cosmetic and nutraceutical product,” they say.