Researchers have now developed a kind of test that can show a person's risk of adverse reaction to a chemical present in drugs or cosmetics. The test can potentially take out the current practice of testing a new product on animals.
The new test, developed by researchers from Newcastle University, uses real human cells and immune cells. The test can provide a better look into any adverse reaction to the chemicals by the body, by showing the likelihood of blisters or rash.
The test is called SkimuneTM, and has been tested by many pharmaceutical companies for testing the effects of drugs. The test provides results within two weeks.
"This skin assay offers an accurate and rapid alternative to animal testing and provides the bridge between the laboratory tests for novel drugs and the first stage of clinical trials in humans," said professor Anne Dickinson from the Institute of Cellular Medicine in a news release. Dickinson recently presented the test findings at the In-Vitro Testing Industrial Platform (IVTIP) conference in Brussels.
"It is accurate and faster than anything currently around and can save companies time and resources. The test identifies drugs or products which are likely to cause a reaction or just not work effectively in humans," Dickinson added.
The test provides data on how a person's skin will react when exposed to the chemical in the cosmetic, which can help companies make informed choices about the safety of their products.
The test was developed using cells that were obtained from the blood samples of healthy people. These cells differentiate into dendritic cells that in turn activate T cells. This immune response is helpful when the body wants to fight an infection. However, if the immune response goes wrong, then the individual can be severely affected.
SkimuneTM provides data regarding the way the body, especially the skin, will react to the chemical.
"We've already shown this works as a way of testing new drugs for adverse immune reactions that can't be identified when tested in animal models," said Dickinson.
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