A skin sensitiser is a substance that leads to an allergic response following skin contact. This can manifest itself as allergic contact dermatitis and is an important field of research for Cyprotex.
In February this year, EURL ECVAM (European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing) published its' recommendation on the KeratinoSens assay for use within an integrated strategy for skin sensitisation testing.
According to the company, the draft OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) test guidelines were released in May 2014 and Cyprotex validated the assay based on these guidelines.
This method extends the contractor's range of in vitro alternatives to animal testing, which remains a key goal of the regulatory authorities especially in the cosmetics market.
Comprehensive panel of in vitro methods
Cyprotex's panel of in vitro methods now includes the testing of skin and ocular irritation, skin corrosion, skin sensitisation, skin absorption and phototoxicity for the personal care/cosmetics, chemical and household products, and pharmaceutical industries.
It includes standard test methods such as the direct peptide reactivity assay (DPRA) and KeratinoSens, CeeTox (acquired by Cyprotex in January 2014) developed the SenCeeTox method which uses a multiparametric approach to evaluate skin sensitisation within a 3D skin model.
Chief Executive Officer, Dr Anthony Baxter, said, "Our acquisition of the business and assets of CeeTox in 2014 has enabled Cyprotex to attract interest from new markets such as the cosmetics/personal care and chemical industries."
"We are committed to keeping up-to-date with the regulatory authorities recommended approaches, and to developing our own novel technologies to better understand complex issues such as skin sensitisation."
Back in January, the contract researcher acquired alternative assay specialist Ceetox in the hope that it will help the company to expand its footprint in the cosmetics industry.
The organization had been looking to offer a more complete assay and screening service to the sector and believed this venture with the world-respected in vitro toxicology specialist would ultimately expand its footprint from its core pharmaceutical and agrochemical markets.
According to Cyprotex CEO Anthony Baxter, the innovative assays and screens that CeeTox has developed over its 10-year life will be complementary to its existing platform.
"In particular, we are excited by the potential for selling the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Programme (EDSP) service to both current Government agency customers and to industrial chemical companies," he said at the time.