Safer science on the way as SEURAT-1 continues development

Safer science on the way as SEURAT-1 continues development

Related tags In vivo European union

Having passed the halfway stage of its duration, the SEURAT-1 initiative is on course to develop safer science for the research, development, and assessment of ingredients in the European cosmetics industry.

At its 4th​ Annual Meeting which took place in Barcelona, the initiative announced that further collaboration has been achieved, identifying potentially redundant overlaps and transforming them into complementarities, based on common cluster objectives.

This means that steps are being taken to replace in vivo repeat dose toxicity tests in the development of cosmetics ingredients whilst ensuring the safety of ingredients and products.


A year ago the initiative had a big focus on protecting laboratory animals, and has now added the ambition of improving human safety assessment too.

The main focus this year is on the concrete research issues related to the SEURAT-1 Case studies at three levels, corresponding to the concepts to be proven:

  • At the theoretical level, proof-of-concept aims to show how toxicological knowledge concerning mode-of-action can be mined or perhaps generated, and then reconciled, consolidated and explicitly described in a format that can be managed and communicated in an effective and harmonized manner.
  • At the systems level, the intention is to demonstrate how test systems can be produced by integrating various in vitro and in silico tools emanating from the projects, in order to assess the toxicological properties of chemicals using mode-of-action as an analytical basis.
  • At the highest level, proof-of-concept will address the desire to show how the data and information derived from the tools and methods developed within the cluster can actually be used in specific safety assessment frameworks and scenarios.


The goal of the initiative (‘Towards the replacement of in vivo repeated dose systemic toxicity testing’) is the development of a concept and corresponding long-term research strategy for the future leading to pathway-based human safety assessments in the field of repeated dose systemic toxicity testing of chemicals.

Equally funded by the EU 7th Framework Programme and Cosmetics Europe, it is a cluster of five research projects (COSMOS, Scr&Tox, DETECTIVE, HeMiBio and NoTox), a central data analysis service (ToxBank) and a coordination action (COACH).

The European Commission Joint Research Centre, Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (JRC-IHCP) is heavily involved in three of the five complementary research projects, and is also at the centre of the coordination efforts of the entire cluster.

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