• REACH requires tests for skin sensitizing action;
• Animal studies for cosmetic starting materials completely prohibited in the EU since March.
Using a newly developed cell line, the reaction of skin cells to allergenic substances can now be demonstrated in the test tube.
Allergic skin reactions involve a variety of biochemical processes. These include the binding of a substance to one of the skin’s proteins and a resulting stress reaction. Both are early and reliable indicators of a possible allergenic potential of the test substance. In the newly developed cell line, scientists of RWTH Aachen University Hospital have modified a reporter gene from Promega, so that the stress reactions are coupled to a light signal. This gene construct was then stably inserted into human skin cell lines. Dr. Katarina Bohm, Marketing Manager of Promega: “Our luciferase vectors translate cellular changes into a luminescent signal. This allows stress reactions in skin cells to be easily detected with our luciferase assay systems.” The new cell line has been extensively tested at BASF and a standardized method has been developed to reliably assess the allergenic potential of a substance.
Previously, the skin sensitizing action of substances had to be determined in animal studies. “Combining the new method with two additional alternative methods to investigate skin sensitization allows us not only to significantly reduce the number of animal studies, but also to predict a possible allergic potential more reliably than before,” said Dr. Robert Landsiedel, Head of the short-term Toxicology unit at BASF. Developing the method at the present time is particularly important because following the REACH regulation, several thousand substances have to be tested for their skin sensitizing action by 2018. Furthermore, since March 2013 animal studies on cosmetic ingredients for the European market have been completely prohibited.
The alternative method was submitted to the European Commission (European Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods, ECVAM). This body determines whether it can be recognized as a standard method for toxicological studies in Europe.
Promega Corporation (promega.com) is a leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to the life sciences industry. The company’s 2,500 products enable scientists worldwide to advance their knowledge in genomics, proteomics, cellular analysis, molecular diagnostics and human identification. Founded in 1978, the company is headquartered in Madison, WI, USA with branches in 15 countries and over 50 global distributors. Since 1997 Promega GmbH is present as the German branch in Mannheim and with 70 employees responsible for the sales of Promega’s product in Germany, Austria and Eastern Europe. The principal customers in the life sciences research and drug discovery markets are laboratories generally associated with universities, medical research centers, government institutions, and other research institutions as well as biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. In addition, the tools are used in applied markets such as forensics paternity testing for human identification.
BASF (basf.com) is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, we enable our customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of €72.1 billion in 2012 and more than 110,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN).
Contact: Promega GmbH
Anette Schwenzer, Digital Marketing Manager
P: +49 621 8501-110 - E: anette.schwenzer[.]promega.com.