Urgent input from regulatory affairs executives and development scientists in the cosmetics industry is needed to help protect and shape the future of product innovation in the sector.

Non-animal testing laboratory, XCellR8, is calling* on senior people working in cosmetics product and ingredients manufacturing to highlight their concerns and discuss their “wish lists” for the animal-free testing they need to demonstrate product safety and comply with European Union (EU) and worldwide regulations.

XCellR8 began developing a business case to gain regulatory approval for the first-ever, non-animal acute toxicity test for cosmetics and their ingredients earlier this year, when it received £50k funding from the EU Horizon 2020 programme. The company is currently compiling a submission for further funding from the research and innovation programme to develop and seek regulatory approval for the test.

By giving cosmetics companies and their suppliers the opportunity to add their issues and concerns to the Horizon 2020 submission, XCellR8 believes it can outline the ideal solution to meet regulations and enable the cosmetics industry to continue developing and using new and innovative ingredients compliantly.

Dr Carol Treasure, managing director and co-founder of XCellR8, said: “The cosmetics industry and its suppliers are under intense pressure to prove the safety of their products but without using animal testing. Yet, today, there is no formal animal-free test approved by regulators for acute toxicity.

“So if an ingredient manufacturer has used any animal testing in developing a chemical after the regulatory cut-off date, its cosmetic industry customers can’t use it in their products. And while there is no recognised non-animal test to generate safety data, companies are unlikely to buy the ingredients.

“The more support we have from the industry now, the more it will strengthen our bid to fund, develop and gain approval for an acute toxicity test that we know the cosmetics supply chain badly needs. Our acute toxicity testing method is aimed at meeting both the safety demands of EU REACH regulations (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals 2006) and the ethical demands of the EU Cosmetic Regulation.”

Dr Treasure is calling on people responsible for regulatory compliance and development scientists to get in touch with XCellR8 by 31st December 2016 so their views and comments can add weight to the EU Horizon 2020 application. Any input provided will be treated either anonymously or attributed, based on the wishes of the contributor.

Dr Treasure added: “We would like to understand and share with the EU what companies in the sector are doing to address the gap in compliance that non-animal testing would fill. Currently, that might include the use of computer modelling and the principle of ‘read-across’ to justify ingredient safety, which is not as effective as conducting actual tests.”

XCellR8 is one of a small number of companies worldwide investing in the development of replacement, non-animal testing, combining a more robust, scientific approach than offered by traditional animal tests with an ethical ethos now demanded more widely by the public worldwide.

The north west UK-based testing laboratory is using a variety of in vitro human cell-based methods including artificial models of human skin and eyes reconstructed from human cells donated by cosmetic surgery patients. XCellR8 believes it is currently the only industrial testing laboratory developing new – and overhauling established – cell based testing methods to eliminate all animal-derived elements.

*If you are a senior regulatory affairs professional or a development scientist working in chemical ingredients or product manufacturing for the cosmetics sector – and would like to participate in this opportunity to influence the future of testing and regulation – please contact: / +44 (0)1925 607 134 by 31st December 2016.