As more countries ban (European Union, Norway, Israel, India and Brazil to date) in vivo testing on animals of cosmetics, personal care and household chemicals, in vitro testing is becoming a critical component of safety evaluation. Industry-governing bodies and countries in the European Union are leading this change, with the OECD officially adopting the Direct Peptide Reactivity Assay (DPRA) and the KeratinoSens™ assays as the first in vitro models to evaluate sensitisation potential in February 2015, and EURL ECVAM completing validation and recommending the human Cell Line Activation Test (hCLAT) test the following month.
At the In-Cosmetics meeting in Barcelona in April 2015, a round table discussion was held to discuss new in vitro methods and how the results they provide translate to real life exposure without performing in vivo experiments. Bart De Wever, a presenter and participant in the roundtable, noted the necessity of combining strategies in order to completely replace animal tests and how “reconstructed skin models like the SENS-IS, SenCeeTox® and EE methods present many advantages” in this regard. Because these assays or methods utilising 3D skin models provide insight into mechanistic toxic response on both the cellular and chemical levels, the data gathered through these methods can actually yield more robust and informative data than animal – and sometimes even human – tests.