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Advanced Computer Algorithms Could Provide Cost-Effective Alternative to Animal Testing

There has been a long-standing debate against animal testing from the perspective of animal welfare. While this argument may have its merits, it often demonizes scientists and companies that use animal testing. Value-based arguments rarely gain much footing and usually lack validity in certain circles. The real problem though is that the picture is incomplete. The three factors that should be under scrutiny are rarely discussed: Effectiveness, time, and economic impact. Additionally, the reduction of animal testing may not be the best metric for measuring the success of alternative methods.

Alternative Testing Methods and the Landscape of Safety Testing

Currently, there are around 50 alternative methods to animal testing that are at least partly accepted by the scientific community. In vitro methods are a large part of this group. A July 2018 article in alternatives to animal experimentation publication, Altex, discussed the current landscape. Since the 1970s and 1980s when animal testing by drug companies peaked, there has been a steady decline of around 80% as it has been replaced by in vitro testing. Biomedical research and basic biological research have seen a continual decrease in animal testing since around 2000 to 2010. Many of these tests have been replaced with invitro and human stem cell methods. In some cases, in vitro is used to confirm, expand, or complement data derived from animal testing.

Other areas are seeing the same shift as companies work to find testing methods that are less expensive, more effective, and faster. This is the language that elicits the greatest response from most businesses.

Advanced Algorithms Predict Toxicity of Chemicals

Scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health conducted a study to see how well large chemical databases that utilized advanced computer algorithms could stand up to animal testing when predicting the toxicity of a chemical. The results were surprising.

In the study, a large database that contained known chemicals was mined and the data extracted was used to analyze various chemical structures and their known toxic characteristics. These relationships were then mapped so that it could be used as a predictor for the toxicity of any chemical compound. The goal was to exceed the effectiveness of animal testing.

The most advanced version of this tool performed at an average of 87% accuracy. In contrast, those same tests performed using animal testing had an 81% accuracy. This strongly suggests that computer-based prediction could replace a number of animal tests. It is less expensive and faster than animal testing as well.

Methods of Research

When the researchers performed their study, they began by increasing the size of the database and employing machine learning algorithms to extract and read the data. These algorithms analyzed known chemical structures and mapped them to the toxic properties associated with them. The results showed that an automated, computer-assisted approach to determining a chemical’s toxicity properties outperformed animal testing on all levels. It was cheaper, faster, and more effective.

It is not unreasonable to believe that there will soon be a day when alternative methods like in vitro and advanced algorithms are the preferred methods for safety testing. Change is rarely easy, and it can be difficult for a company to break away from doing things like safety testing the way they’ve always done it. But alternative testing methods are slowly becoming the first choice and animal testing is losing ground.

InVitro International offers an alternative to skin toxicity and skin irritation animal testing methods. To learn more about our non-animal testing methods like the Irritection® Dermal and Ocular Irritection® visit our website and complete the convenient email form or contact us at 1-800-2-INVITRO to speak to a representative.

What Impact Do State Laws Against Animal Testing Have on The Skin Care Industry?

Animal testing for skin care products in the U.S. can be a highly-charged, emotional topic. There are many pros and cons on this procedure, with some states banning the process outright, without trying to find an alternative that would satisfy the needs of the industry’s human clients while appeasing the concerns of the animal rights activists. Although animal testing is not specifically required by the FDA for cosmetics, it has also not been implicitly banned at the federal level in the United States. A bipartisan Humane Cosmetics Act has been introduced in Congress and seeks to follow the example of the European Union by doing so. Until that law is enacted, the issue is currently being debated on a state by state basis.

In 2002, California politicians enacted legislation which made it the first state to prohibit using traditional animal testing methods for skin care products, when an alternative test that has been approved by the Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) is available. Other states that have banned animal testing for cosmetic care products with similar restrictions include New Jersey, New York and Virginia. These bans did not prevent companies from marketing cosmetic products that had been tested on animals elsewhere; however, California also recently enacted legislation that will make it illegal as of January 1, 2020 to sell cosmetics, with minimal exceptions, that have been (or include ingredients that have been) tested on animals.

Ethical and legal considerations aside, animal testing results may not be reliable enough for companies that invest great sums of money in cosmetics research, marketing and production. Some animal species may respond differently to specific irritants, and test results can sometimes prove difficult to interpret. This may produce skewed results if they are extrapolated to human consumers. At the very least, manufacturers are attempting to reduce the number of animals involved and to refine the procedures used.

In light of all of this, how is an ethical manufacturer supposed to produce a product that is legal, effective and safe, and that appeals to a more socially aware marketplace? Fortunately, alternatives that do not involve the use of animal testing are becoming more available. These may involve human blood and tissue samples, artificial skin, or computer models which can deliver human-based results. These alternatives can actually produce results more quickly than long-term, animal-based tests, with the added benefit of being more reliable and cost-effective than results obtained through other means.

One area making great strides in the cosmetics industry is in vitro testing. This is being used to confirm the lack of certain toxic properties in cosmetic products, as well as their ingredients. It can safely be used to test product efficacy and receive regulatory approval. Examples of safer, in vitro test methods which represent the very best techniques that modern science has to offer include Irritection® and Corrositex® from InVitro International. The Irritection® Assay System allows users to predict the ocular and dermal irritancy of chemicals, mixtures and product formulations, while Corrositex® is used to determine chemical corrosivity. Corrositex® has also been approved for determining GHS/UN Packing Group classifications that are required for the storage and transport of corrosive substances.

About InVitro International: Headquartered in Placentia, CA, InVitro International was established in September 1985. The company is recognized as being a pioneer in the development and application of non-animal testing alternatives for irritation and skin toxicity testing. Its mission is to assist the cosmetics industry in the development and marketing of faster, simpler more cost effective product and environmental safety testing methodologies. Visit our website or call 800-246-8487 for further information on non-animal testing alternatives.

Cosmetic Testing: 3 Non-Animal Testing Alternatives

Throughout history, animal testing has been the primary tool used to determine whether certain chemicals are safe for use in humans and/or the environment. However, this method of testing poses several concerns. For example, animal testing is often harmful to the animal subjects involved, which is considered inhumane by some critics. In addition, animal testing is not always effective, providing results that may not translate to humans. Furthermore, animal testing is expensive.

All of these drawbacks have led researchers to look for alternatives to animal testing. Below are three viable alternatives that can be used to test chemicals for toxicity.

1. Human volunteers.

Tests performed on human volunteers translate much better into the general population than animal tests. Critics of this alternative point out the obvious risk to human volunteers. However, advances in technology allow researchers to test chemicals on humans with minimal levels of risk. One of the best methods available is known as “microdosing.” Microdosing involves giving a human volunteer a very small dose of a drug and then using advanced imaging techniques to watch the drug interact with the body. With regard to cosmetic testing, this method usually involves testing a small area of the skin and using advanced techniques to analyze the response.

2. Computer Models

Another alternative to animal testing is the computer model, which allows scientists to simulate the biology of the human body for the purposes of testing different chemicals. These sophisticated models can anticipate the way the body is most likely to react to a specific substance.
Computer models eliminate the need for testing on animals, and they don’t require human subjects. These models are also cost-effective and can be repeated many times without wasting resources. For example, one type of computer-based model known as “quantitative structure-activity relationships” can use data about existing chemicals to estimate the likelihood of toxicity for a new chemical.

3. In Vitro Testing

Another viable alternative to animal testing is known as “in vitro testing.” This method utilizes actual human cells to test the toxicity or irritation potential of specific chemicals.

For example, one type of in-vitro testing developed by researchers at Harvard involves the creation of microchips that contain human cells. Different types of human cells are used on these microchips to simulate the structure and function of specific organs or systems in the human body, such as the skin. Researchers can use these chips to test the reaction of specific body systems to a new chemical, thus reducing the need for animal testing. In the cosmetics industry, the cells used would mimic the function of human skin in order to test reactions to specific substances.

High-quality in vitro testing assays are already available to cosmetic companies. A prime example is the Ocular/Dermal Irritection® Assay System from InVitro International, which can provide accurate results in as little as 24 hours.

At this time, these alternatives cannot entirely replace animal testing. However, when used properly, they can reduce the need for animal tests, especially in the cosmetics industry. In many cases, these alternatives are also more cost-effective and accurate than animal testing, making them even more desirable to researchers. As alternatives to animal testing continue to become more sophisticated, it is likely that the need for animal tests will continue to decline.

Chemical Screening Software May Be More Effective than Animal Testing

For many decades, animals have been subjected to toxicity testing in order to determine whether certain compounds were safe for use in the environment or in humans. In many cases, this testing has led to severe and even deadly side effects for the animals in question. To prevent these negative outcomes, researchers have been searching for alternatives to animal testing. Recently, toxicologists have successfully developed a software program that may be more effective than animal testing, thus reducing the need for animal-based experiments.

About the Software

The software program created is capable of predicting the outcomes of animal assays, which eliminates the need to perform the actual test. In order to develop this program, the researchers gathered information from the US National Toxicology Program, PubChem and other public databases. Using this information, the researchers developed an algorithm that was 87 percent accurate in predicting the results of an animal test. Repeating animal tests is only effective 81 percent of the time, making the algorithm a more effective testing option.

During the course of their research, the scientists also discovered that animal testing involves a high level of redundancy. They discovered 69 chemicals in the database that had been tested more than 45 times each, in many cases by different companies. Two of these chemicals had been tested more than 90 times each.

Although the algorithm performed at least as well as the actual animal tests in the simulations conducted, this method still comes with limits. Specifically, the program has not been able to accurately predict a chemical’s propensity to cause cancer or other long-term effects.
The work on this program was partially funded by Underwriters Laboratories, a safety science company based out of Illinois. This company has already released the software they created to other companies that want to evaluate their chemicals before releasing them.

What It Means for Animal Testing

The United States and several other countries have established regulations that determine how companies must evaluate new chemicals that are intended to be used for consumer products, in the environment or for commercial purposes. Most of these regulations require companies to submit data on the safety of these chemicals before they can be sold or distributed. However, many of these countries are also working to limit the use of animals in the chemical testing process.

For example, in the United States, the National Toxicology Program, Environmental Protection Agency and National Institutes of Health initiated a program to develop better, more efficient non-animal toxicity tests in 2008. In 2016, the United States passed a law that requires federal agencies to make an effort to reduce and replace animal testing with alternatives. In the European Union, animal testing for cosmetic products has been banned since 2013.

The FDA is currently in the process of testing and evaluating this new software program. If the program proves successful in the long run, it will provide an inexpensive alternative to animal testing that could revolutionize testing processes all over the world. This program is unlikely to be the end of animal testing altogether, but it represents a step in the right direction.

New and Alternative Strategies in Skin Irritation Testing

Development for new topical products involves a great deal of risk assessment and safety testing. Each ingredient must be carefully scrutinized to ensure that it is safe and has a low risk of causing irritation. Before the product can be marketed, it must undergo rigorous evaluations. Traditionally, this was done via animal testing. While this method is mostly effective, there are testing alternatives that are more affordable, more accurate, and reach across a broader spectrum of variables and associated factors.

Consumer needs demand expanded testing capabilities

A consumer’s satisfaction with a product extends beyond a visible skin reaction. If the product causes any type of unpleasant sensation, including burning, stinging, or itching, that can have a significant negative impact. Sensory irritation has long been studied by manufacturers of cosmetics and other products that require a topical application, yet to some degree it remains a mystery.
Neurophysiology has aided in increasing the ability to accurately gauge sensory irritation, there is still much work to be done. This is an area that is difficult to test, especially at lower levels, because the irritation is experienced in a sensory format and does not elicit a visible reaction. There can still be a reaction even if the appearance of the skin does not change.

Options for testing skin irritation: Human test methods

Testing that uses human subjects is not new, especially in skin compatibility tests. Ethical human testing that uses volunteers can provide invaluable insight and feedback on a product or substance. By using scarification tests, cumulative irritation patch tests, repeat open application tests, and extended duration patch tests, are commonly used in direct formulation or chemical application.
Extended duration product home use tests, exaggerated fabric rubbing tests, hand immersion tests, and forearm wash tests are often conducted in either a laboratory or even at home. These are extremely useful because the subject is able to provide more detailed feedback.

Options for testing skin irritation: In vitro systems

In vitro systems used as a device for testing or screening skin irritation is a fairly new technology. Developing human skin culture as a vehicle for predicting irritation has enormous possibilities that extend far beyond human testing or even animal testing in scope and cost. It has the capability to predict cumulative and acute skin irritation, including chronic irritation.
The Ocular Irritection® Assay System is used to test substances and materials for eye irritation while the Irritection® Assay System tests the skin’s reaction to potential irritants. These technologies, while fairly new, have proven to be both reliable and cost effective, surpassing other testing methods such as animal testing.

Skin irritation testing is much more than a manufacturer’s desire to create a product that consumers will love and, in turn, purchase. It extends far beyond marketplace races where companies are forever one-upping their competitors. In the end, it comes down to product safety – human safety. Testing is necessary, but accurate, affordable testing is absolutely vital.

It is time to look at what is effective, what is accurate, what works, instead of what is tradition. An in vitro system is the future of skin irritation testing. It is the new chapter in product testing, offering manufacturers a better way to give their customers safe products that they love.

In Vitro International is an industry leader in the development and application of skin irritation and toxicity non-animal testing. To learn more about our Ocular Irritection® and Irritection® Dermal as well as other non-animal testing technologies that are in development, contact us at 1-800-2-INVITRO or complete the convenient email form on our website and a representative will contact you.

Safety Methods for Eye and Skin Irritation Tests

The growing opposition to animal testing is driving research in in-vitro testing, especially for cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. The in vitro sector has recently experienced a number of technological advancements that have increased the usefulness and reduced the cost of these methods, while offering an alternative to animal testing. Some business sectors have completely replaced animal testing with in-vitro testing, particularly cosmetics intended for use in the European Union (EU). Other sectors use in-vitro testing to refine procedures, thus reducing the need for animal testing. These testing methods may generally be classified into eye and skin irritation tests.

Eye Irritation Tests

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), Part 3.3, 2015 defines eye irritation as “the production of changes in the eye following the application of test substance to the anterior surface of the eye, which are fully reversible within 21 days of application.” It also defines serious eye damage, or eye corrosion, as “the production of tissue damage in the eye, or serious physical decay of vision, following application of a test substance to the anterior surface of the eye, which is not fully reversible within 21 days of application.”

Animal Testing

The Draize test was developed in 1944 and is still the standard testing method for eye irritation. Researchers instill the test material into one eye of albino rabbits, allowing the other eye to serve as a negative control. They then use a standardized scoring system to measure the effects of the material on various parts of the eye, including the conjunctiva, cornea and iris. Researchers score these effects after one hour, one day, two days and three days.

Non-Animal Testing

Much of the research on alternative approaches to animal testing for eye irritation in the United States is the result of collaboration between the following agencies:

•Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP)
•Institute for In Vitro Science (IIVS)
•Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM)

These organizations generally recommend the use of in vitro methods such as the Bovine Cornea and Permeability (BCOP) assay, Cytosensor Microphysiometer assay, and EpiOcular assay. However, these organizations also add that additional invitro testing methods, such as InVitro International’s Ocular Irritection assay may be assessed on a case-by-case basis, depending on the supporting rationale for a departure from standardized methods of non-animal testing.

Skin Irritation Tests

GHS Rev. 3 defines skin irritation as “the production of reversible damage to the skin following the application of a test substance for up to 4 hours.” It also defines serious skin damage, or skin corrosion, as “the production of irreversible damage to the skin; namely, visible necrosis through the epidermis and into the dermis, following the application of a test substance for up to 4 hours.”

Animal Testing

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) describes its method for skin toxicity testing in animals in OECD Test Guideline 404. Researchers apply the test material to six square centimeters of shaved skin of albino rabbits and cover it with gauze. They then remove the material after four hours and observe the effects at various intervals for up to two weeks.

Non-Animal Testing

A variety of in vitro methods for reproducing in vitro assessments are now available. For example reconstructed human epidermis (RHE) models, or 3D skin models, grow human cells on a membrane in a manner similar to growing human skin in a petri dish.
Commercially available non animal testing alternatives include the following:

•EST-1000 RHE
•SkinEthic RHE
•Vitrolife-Skin RHE
•EpiDerm Skin Irritation Test (SIT)
•EpiSkin SIT
•LabCyte EPI-MODEL
•InVitro International’s Dermal Irritection assay

For dermal toxicity (corrosion), InVitro Internationals Corrositex test is widely accepted around the world (US DOT, EPA, IATA, OECD, GHS, Transport Canada), as an invitro alternative to animal testing.

The Many Benefits of Using Alternatives to Animal Testing

Animal testing was the mainstay when it came to creating products that were safe for humans, primarily because there simply were no alternatives. Fortunately, researchers have developed many new non-animal tests that benefit both humans and animals.

About Alternatives to Animal Testing
Alternatives to animal testing are those methods that “replace, reduce or refine” the use of animals in research and testing. People sometimes refer to this as the “Three Rs” of testing. This concept of using non-animal tests is not new – William Russell and Rex Burch first described the approach in their 1959 book, The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique.

Specifically, these alternative test methods:

• Replace animals with computer or other non-animal systems, or replace a highly developed animal species with another less-developed one, such as replacing a mouse with a worm
• Reduce the number of animals used
• Refine techniques to decrease or eliminate pain or distress in animals or to improve the animal’s well-being

Benefits of Non-animal Testing

Animal-free testing may be more accurate
The results of animal testing may not always apply to human health. Research on mice, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, and monkeys did not reveal a link between glass fibers and cancer, according to the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, so the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) labeled glass fibers as carcinogenic only after human studies established the link.

Non-animal testing may be more accurate than tests done on animals
Researchers discovered that one test using human skin cells grown in a lab (in vitro) was more accurate than traditional animal tests when it came to identifying chemicals that irritate the skin. In studies comparing the two testing approaches, the in vitro test correctly detected all of the chemical skin irritants while tests on rabbits failed 40 percent of the time.

Alternative testing saves the lives of animals
For example, the “Lethal Dose 50” (LD50) test is a testing approach in which animals ingest toxic substances until half of the animals in the study die, and the other half are killed later. Swedish researcher Dr. Bjӧrn Ekwall developed a replacement for LD50. This replacement test, which uses donated human tissues, saves animal lives. It is more also accurate – the test can measure toxicity accurately up to 85 percent of the time, compared with only 60 to 65 percent accuracy with LD50. Furthermore, the test can target effects on specific human organs and reveal certain features of toxicity, while animal testing cannot.

Alternative testing may be faster
Many alternative tests, such as those using synthetic skin rather than live animals, can provide information in as little as a few minutes to a few hours, compared with animal testing that often takes weeks or even months. Fast testing times means researchers can test five or six products with alternative testing in the time it takes to study a single product with animal testing.

Non-animal tests may be cost-effective
Faster testing times helps bring products to market quicker, so manufacturers can see a return on their investment sooner. Animal-free testing also reduces costs by reducing the need for animal purchasing, housing, feed and care.

Alternatives to animal testing are more environmentally friendly
This is especially true in toxicity testing, where researchers breed, test and then dispose of millions of test animals, which are classified as hazardous or pathogenic waste. Alternatives to animal testing are less harmful to the environment and they create less waste.
Alternatives save animals by creating other safe and effective approaches to testing, thereby reducing or eliminating the need to test products on animals. Using alternatives to animal testing does not put humans at risk, nor does it halt the progress of medicine. Instead, using these alternatives improves the quality of society as a whole.

EPA Recommends Moving Away From Animal Testing, While Big Data Shows Testing Is Often Unnecessary

 

In March of 2018, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a document outlining a multiyear plan for identifying alternative testing methods that will reduce the use of animal testing. The EPA’s strategy is to reduce and eventually eliminate chemical testing on all vertebrate animal species, which necessarily includes mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians alike.

This policy shift comes after a push from animal rights advocates like Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who has estimated that hundreds of thousands of animals may be spared from harm and death with a shift away from animal testing. For its part, the Humane Society of the United States has also hailed the EPA strategy as a meaningful step toward advancing the science of chemical safety while protecting animal welfare.

It must be said, however, that these changes are about far more than animal welfare and ethical practices. While a reduction in animal harm and cruelty is, of course, a pressing ethical concern, research continues to show that animal testing is ineffective compared to alternative forms of testing used by researchers.

Groundbreaking Big Data Study Reveals a Path Forward for the Reduction of Animal Testing

In what has been triumphed as the largest publicly available study of its kind, Elsevier partnered with Bayer AG’s pharma division to analyze the effectiveness of animal testing for predicting human safety. The findings provide valuable insights that may be useful for reducing animal testing, all while improving clinical care and patient outcomes.

The primary goal of the research was to determine how consistently animal testing could predict human safety during clinical trials. To this end, the research was exceptionally comprehensive, investigating more than 1.6 million harmful events reported for humans, as well as five of the most commonly used animals during preclinical research testing.

The study ultimately found that some animal tests are far more predictive of the ways in which humans will respond at clinical trial than other forms of animal testing. The predictive efficacy often hinges on the animal species used for testing as well as the symptoms that were reported.

In short, the study reveals that plenty of current animal testing methods are both unnecessary and ineffective. The study goes on to conclude that Big Data and better analysis can significantly reduce animal testing. This positive outcome is achievable by choosing animals for testing based on the species that have the most predictive outcomes for patients who have specific symptoms or are using specific drugs.

This influential study shows that the way toward improving patient safety and outcomes is likely paired with the reduction of animal testing.

Proven Alternatives to Animal Testing Already Exist

It is important to understand that important progress has already been made in the efforts to reduce animal testing while improving human safety. One such development is the use of in vitro systems to better understand how humans will respond to chemicals. Specifically, in vitro systems can now effectively identify eye irritants and allergic skin reactions without the need for animal testing.

Traditional animal test subjects for allergic reaction research — often guinea pigs or mice — have a test chemical applied to their skin. After the chemical is applied, the animal is killed and examined for signs of an allergic response or reaction. Recent studies increasingly show that non-animal methods of predicting human allergic reactions — such as in vitro — are more effective than traditional tests on animals.

In addition to in vitro, computer modeling (in silico) has also made significant advancements that can reduce the use of animals for testing. These complex computer models aim to simulate human biology with a specific focus on disease progression. With the help of these computer-generated models, it is increasingly possible to successfully predict how drugs will react within the body, undoing the need for animal use during exploratory testing. And, once again, recent studies continue to suggest that in silico modeling research prove accurate enough to do away with the need for harmful testing on animals.

The rapid and cutting-edge advancements of in vitro and in silico have created proven alternatives that can improve patient safety and cut down on the overuse of animal testing at the same time. There are many reasons to be concerned with animal testing, which range from the ethical to the practical. As science continues to advance, the goal is to increasingly phase out and reduce the need for animal testing as proven and often superior alternatives take their place.

The EPA’s latest recommendation and the latest Elsevier/Bayer research, fortunately, push us closer to the increased prioritization and adoption of alternatives to animal testing.

 

Sources:

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/377160-epa-floats-plan-for-reducing-animal-testing

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/44239-epa-recommends-transitioning-away-from-animal-testing

https://www.thepharmaletter.com/article/big-data-study-shows-unnecessary-animal-testing-can-be-reduced https://www.dddmag.com/news/2018/05/big-data-study-probes-how-well-animal-studies-predict-human-safety

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2018/04/animal-advocates-praise-epa.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12842603

 

Corrositex®: 3 Reasons to Use this Cruelty-Free Corrosivity Testing Method

Corrositex® is a revolutionary dermal corrosion testing assay that replaces the rabbit test that was previously the primary means of determining this. By using Corrositex®, a company is able to determine the dermal corrosivity of its products and allows the assignment of GHS categories, 1A, 1B and 1C, and U.N. Packing group classification for corrosives that are Class 8 hazards. A wide swath of regulatory agencies accept the results of Corrositex® which was developed by In Vitro International. Since it was first granted regulatory approval in 1992, Corrositex® has been accepted by United States agencies such as the FDA, EPA, OSHA, DOT and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition, agencies from across the globe accept the results of Corrositex® including the IATA, EU/OECD, Transport Canada and the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM).

Other Advantages of Using Corrositex®

Not only is the innovative and cruelty-free corrosivity testing method, Corrositex®, accepted by top regulatory agencies across the globe, there are other key reasons for choosing this method instead of rabbit testing.

1. Rapid Results

Getting a product to market is a path that is rife with processes that require significant investments of time including those related to regulations, product development and marketing, to name just a few. Testing for corrosivity using rabbits is a time investment of at least two to four weeks. In contrast, using Corrositex® can provide results in as few as three minutes. A determination when using Corrositex® takes no more than four hours to complete — a significant time savings that can improve a company’s profit margin.

2. Convenient

Using Corrositex® gives companies greater control over their products. There are two ways that Corrositex®  can be used: a sample of the product can be sent to the In Vitro International labs where their highly-trained team tests it fully or the company can obtain Corrositex®  test kits and perform the tests at their own facility.

3. Easy to Use

Corrositex® makes it quick and easy to get the results needed to secure the appropriate regulatory approval. This three-step process begins with a compatibility test between the testing solution and the sample. Next, the test determines the applicable indicator solution to aid in the categorization of the product. Lastly, the sample is exposed to the solution which results in a color change. The time that this change requires is recorded.

In Vitro International is a pioneer in non-invasive and cruelty-free testing that gets products to market quickly. Contact them for more information about Corrositex®, lab services and their other products.

Can New Technology Eventually Eliminate the Need for All Animal Testing?

The vast majority of cosmetic companies no longer need to test their products on animals in order to assure their customers will be safe. Company decision-makers and government officials alike have learned that they can instead rely on technology such as in vitro testing to provide accurate results about the chemicals in their products. But what about the many other industries that still use animals for answers? Will this trend continue across the board? There’s recently been a major push from top levels to implement technology instead of animals in order to find the right answers.

New Roadmaps

A federal committee, named the Interagency Coordinating Committee, recently came out with a report that laid out suggestions on how to replace animal testing with other forms of toxicological testing methods. Right now, there’s a certain amount of confusion about the current state of testing. Different states may require different tests, which can make for inconsistent information depending on the company, product, and location. The federal report wanted a true representation of each and every detail and discrepancy. From there, they developed a strategy for how to promote and convince both politicians and researchers alike that there’s a smarter (and less cruel) way to arrive at the same conclusions.

Understanding Testing

For all of the studies done on animals, there’s unfortunately not a lot of translation between their results and human results. Animal studies often aren’t conducted with the precision and controls that the experiments require to produce consistent results that will apply to humans.While we still don’t test on humans for obvious reasons, researchers continue harming countless animals for surprisingly few benefits. So aside from ending animal cruelty, advanced technology gives testers a better way to regulate their methodology so there’s less room for error (and ultimately, a safer product.)

How the Report Is Structured

The report is encouraging people to remain flexible when it comes to how they approach their testing solutions. Animal testing is a system that has deep roots in so many labs. Regardless of the evidence that animal testing may not be the most efficient solution, it’s always going to be difficult to implement wide-spread change. The federal report is encouraging people to start adopting new technologies such as computational models or tissue chips to replace live animal studies. (Tissue chips are artificial 3D models that replicate human organs.) These new methods may be an initial investment, but they eventually save researchers countless dollars while simultaneously improving every aspect of their organization.

Change Through Encouragement

This report does not mandate change in any way. It doesn’t even give specific ideas about how new legislation should be structured to gradually transition everyone to a new system. It’s merely pointing out that there may be more than one way to solve a problem. However, leaders of the committee do mention that legislation pertaining to animal testing is woefully outdated, which makes it difficult to see the big-picture impact on consumers, companies, and animals. The report stresses the importance of communication among researchers, as well as the benefits of keeping an open mind to alternative testing methods. They suggest that grants should also be changed to reflect the importance and validity of new alternative methods.

Lasting Effects

There’s no reason to delay replacing animal methods with new types of methods for all industries, despite the fact that it will be a major adjustment. Cosmetic companies have been able to make the switch without endangering their customers, profits, or the lives of animals. In fact, animal testing is typically more expensive than alternative methods. This report is a huge step down the road to relying on technology for better results rather than notoriously unreliable animal testing.