CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com spoke to the CEO of the diagnostics research and test development company Christopher Pearce about the development of this 'novel assay.'
The CEO starts by explaining that this is not the first time the company has partnered with the personal care Association, but rather working alongside them on projects since 2008.
“We were chosen to work on the Sens-it-iv research project back in 2008, which was dedicated to the development of in-vitro test strategies that could reduce or replace animal testing for sensitization studies."
Then, as the sweeping ban loomed closer, Pearce explains that Cosmetics Europe provided a set of blinded samples that had been exposed to ten different sensitizers to a broad group of applicants in the industry.
“The task included evaluating those samples through a range of different in-vitro methodologies, to which we used our proteomic biomarker platform, and just recently the Association got in touch to say that our SensiDerm multiplex assay had been selected in the first priority set of tests.”
An assay that differs from the rest...
Where others might have taken a more conventional approach to the Sens-it-iv programme - resulting in limited success, the CEO says that his team used a different approach with its standard protein/peptide biomarker workflows, and was therefore able to identify over 100 novel biomarkers respectively in dendritic cells and keratinocytes.
"The SensiDerm multiplex assay achieves high levels of sensitivity in that its provides rapid testing of 10 proteins reflecting 10 different pathways in a single run. This clearly differentiates it from other assay methods."
When applied to sensitizers, Pearce says the multiplexed protein biomarker assay measures a cellular response signature induced by chemical sensitizers primarily in the well known cytokine-dependent MUTZ-3 cell model.
"Specifically, the test measures peptides derived from 10 target proteins that are found to reflect the biochemical changes in a multitude of biochemical pathways in cellular model systems exposed to skin sensitizers relative to cells exposed to non-sensitizing or inert compounds.
The advantage in this approach, he tells this publication is to avoid false positive readings, particularly where MUTZ-3 cells are exposed to non-toxic concentrations of the test chemicals over a 24 hour period.