The 8th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal US in the Life Sciences (WC8) has focused on the three Rs – replacement, reduction, and refinement – a philosophy that has also played an essential part in Colipa’s work in this area.
"WC8 provides an important meeting place for a range of stakeholders to discuss progress on testing without animals, and it is clear that Colipa has made significant progress in developing and evaluating new alternative models through its collaborative work,” said Dr Horst Wenck, Chair of Colipa‟s Strategic Project Team on Alternatives.
Colipa has centred its efforts to encourage progress in animal testing alternatives by focusing on the European Commission’s Health programme for alternative, known as the SEURAT – 1, an initiative that has combined both industry and government in the common goal.
Cosmetics industry invests heavily in testing alternatives
Dr. Wenck also underlined the fact that the cosmetics industry has worked hard to fulfill this goal, investing like no other sector to meet EU guidelines and the agreed deadline to end all testing of cosmetics ingredients on animals.
“The cosmetics industry, through Colipa, is spending €37m between 2007 and 2014 on research into alternatives. This is more than any other sector, producing some notable successes,” Wenck added.
At the conference presentation, the body also highlighted its contribution towards the development and evolution of several animal testing alternatives, making specific reference to Colipa’s Eye Irritation Workforce.
Eye irritation testing
This project has included specific work on Reconstructed Human Tissue (RHT) to replace and replicate testing previously carried out on animal eye corneas for irritation in from a range of different cosmetic ingredients.
Colipa also highlighted work to develop alternative for skin allergy testing, which has led to three in vitro tests that are now being assessed by the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods.
The tests will ultimately form part of an in vitro test toolbox, designed to carry out skin allergy tests without the need for animals, as well as providing the chance to have computer-simulation models.
The organisation also highlighted its work the SEURAT initiative, which is particularly pertinent because it is allowing Colipa to collaborate extensively in the area of repeated dose toxicity for cosmetics and ingredients.