Harmonisation of Animal Testing Alternatives in China

Shujun Cheng, Xiaoting Qu and Yao Qin

More and more countries are lining up to follow the EU’s approach and implement a full ban on the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals, which has been the case in the EU since 2013. Besides animal welfare considerations, the need for mutual acceptance of data (MAD) and harmonisation of the global market have made the move toward non-animal testing a desirable general trend for countries
worldwide. Over the last 10 years, the concept of alternative methods has been gradually developing in China. This has seen the harmonisation of relevant legislation, the organisation of various theoretical and hands-on training sessions, the exploration of method validation, the adoption of internationally recognised methods, the propagation of alternative testing standards, and an in-depth investigation into the potential use of in vitro methods in the biosciences. There are barriers to this progress, including the demand for a completely new infrastructure, the need to build technology capability, the requirement for a national standardisation system formed through international co-operation, and the lack of technical assistance to facilitate self-innovation. China is now increasing speed in harmonising its approach to the use of non-animal alternatives, accelerating technological development and attempting to incorporate
non-animal, in vitro, testing methods into the national regulatory system.

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Non-animal Replacements for Acute Toxicity Testing

Carol Barker-Treasure, Kevin Coll, Nathalie Belot, Chris Longmore, Karl Bygrave, Suzanne Avey and Richard Clothier

Current approaches to predicting adverse effects in humans from acute toxic exposure to cosmetic ingredients still heavily necessitate the use of animals under EU legislation, particularly in the context of the REACH system, when cosmetic ingredients are also destined for use in other industries. These include the LD50 test, the Up-and-Down Procedure and the Fixed Dose Procedure, which are regarded as having notable scientific deficiencies and low transferability to humans. By expanding on previous in vitro tests, such as the animal cell-based 3T3 Neutral Red Uptake (NRU) assay, this project aims to develop a truly animal-free predictive test for the acute toxicity of cosmetic ingredients in humans, by using human-derived cells and a prediction model that does not rely on animal data. The project, funded by Innovate UK, will incorporate the NRU assay with human dermal fibroblasts in animal product-free culture, to generate an in vitro protocol that can be validated as an accepted replacement for the currently available in vivo tests. To date, the project has successfully completed an assessment of the robustness and reproducibility of the method, by using sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) as a positive control, and displaying analogous results to those of the original studies with mouse 3T3 cells. Currently, the testing of five known ingredients from key groups (a surfactant, a preservative, a fragrance, a colour and an emulsifier) is under way. The testing consists of initial range-finding runs followed by three valid runs of a main experiment with the appropriate concentration ranges, to generate IC50 values. Expanded blind trials of 20 ingredients will follow. Early results indicate that this human cell-based test holds the potential to replace aspects of in vivo animal acute toxicity testing, particularly with reference to cosmetic ingredients.
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Comparative Surfactant Reactivity of Canine and Human Stratum Corneum: A Plea for the Use of the Corneosurfametry Bioassay

Véronique Goffin, Jacques Fontaine and Gérald E. Piérard

Comparative dermatology has paid little attention to the physiopathology of the stratum corneum. In this study, we investigated the responses of human and canine horny layers to marketed animal wash products by using the corneosurfametry bioassay. Previous work has shown that, with increasing surfactant aggressiveness to the stratum corneum, the colorimetric index of mildness (CIM) decreases, while both the corneosurfametry index (CSMI) and the overall difference in corneosurfametry (ODC) increase. In the present study, stratum corneum reactivity to wash products and inter-individual variability were significantly higher in humans than in dogs. For the three corneosurfametry variables, linear correlations were found between data gathered in the two panel groups. In conclusion, this pilot study suggests that mean stratum corneum reactivity to surfactants is stronger in humans than in dogs. Interindividual variation, indicative of sensitive skin, also appears to be broader in humans. As a consequence, data gathered from dogs by using the corneosurfametry bioassay cannot be extrapolated to humans. Such variation between species could be important in the assessment of product safety and in supporting claims for mildness.
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Growing Old Disgracefully: The Cosmetic Use of Botulinum Toxin

Krys Bottrill

The explosive growth in the use of botulinum toxin for cosmetic purposes has undoubtedly had an impact on the number of animals used in the potency testing of this product. The test used is a classical LD50, a severe procedure during which animals experience increasing paralysis until the occurrence of death. The enthusiastic adoption by the general public of the use of botulinum toxin as an anti-wrinkle treatment has, at least in Europe, paradoxically taken place against a background of moves to stop animal testing of cosmetics and cosmetic ingredients. There appears to be a dearth of information aimed at the public concerning botulinum toxin testing. Botulinum toxin does have important medical applications; however, the question arises whether a blanket licence for the testing can be justified, when a large proportion of the product is being used cosmetically. A further question is why death continues to be the endpoint of the potency test, when a more-humane endpoint has been proposed. In addition, a number of alternative methods have been developed, which could have the potential to replace the lethal potency test altogether. These methods are discussed in this paper, and the importance of establishing a strategy for their validation is emphasised, a need that has become even more urgent in the light of the recently published draft monograph on botulinum toxin by the European Pharmacopoeia Commission.
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A Proposed Study on the Transplacental Transport of Parabens in the Human Placental Perfusion Model

Line Mathiesen, Giuseppina Zuri, Maria H. Andersen and Lisbeth E. Knudsen

Human exposure to parabens as a preservative used in personal care products is of increasing concern, as there is evidence from in vivo and in vitro studies of hormone disruption in association with exposure to parabens. Transport across the placenta could be critical for risk assessment, but the available data are sparse. The aim is to develop a method for estimating fetal exposure, via the placenta, to the most  commonly-used parabens, by using a human placental perfusion model. The use of human tissue is vital for determining human fetal exposure, because animal studies are of little relevance, since the placenta exhibits significant interspecies variation. An HPLC model is currently being established to simultaneously quantify four different parabens, namely, methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben and butylparaben, and their main metabolite, p-hydroxybenzoic acid. With this model, we aim to determine the transport kinetics of these parabens across the human placenta, and to investigate placental metabolism, including differences in transport due to molecular characteristics. This will facilitate assessment of the risks associated with the use of paraben-containing products during pregnancy.
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