SCoutech will provide cell and tissue-based screening assays that can replace animal models - an increasingly important objective in light of the ban coming into force between 2009 and 2013. The venture will allow clients to test the efficacy and tolerability of their products with a broad range of models. SCoutech builds on earlier collaboration Symrise and Cutech have been working together since 2003 resulting in the development of a full thickness pig skin model, PSOCM. This patent pending model is a reliable and economic alternative to other artificial skin models, according to the company and is in compliance with the EU's forthcoming ban on animal testing. SCoutech unites the PSOCM and a number of other tests making them available for contract screening for the first time, stated the company. "This joint venture offers our clients in the beauty and health industry sophisticated tools to test the efficacy and tolerability of their products - from individual ingredients all the way to finished products," said Dr Gabriele Veilhaber of Symrise. Cutech CEO Dr Paolo Pertile stressed the reliability and ethical nature of its products, noting SCoutech will offer a comprehensive service to clients. "Furthermore, our experts offer guidance and consulting in order to provide our customers with information not only on the efficacy of their products, but also on the possible mechanism of action, in order to support both their R&D and marketing departments," said Cutech CEO Dr Paolo Pertile. Symrise expands into health and wellbeing This is the latest in a number of partnerships and collaborations that see Symrise expanding its product offerings. A recent partnership with Cambridge Theranostics, a spin off company from Cambridge Univeristy, sees the company moving into the health and wellbeing markets, concentrating initially on cardiovascular health. The biotech company will identify Symrise's extracts and compounds that may help protect against cardiovascular diseases, and perform the clinical studies necessary before such products can be marketed.