The schools have gone back, some people are already booking Christmas parties and for many of our clients in the cosmetics and chemicals industries, that can mean only one thing. You’ve been asked to pull together your budget for 2020. Don’t worry, the team at XCellR8 is here to help you plan your laboratory schedule and next year’s testing programme.


We are always happy to provide quotes for any of our testing services but did you know that there are ways for you to use your budget more efficiently with a little bit of planning ahead?

  • Sometimes, we can offer a discount for multiple test items. It sounds obvious, but if you are able to send us a batch of items you’d like to test in one go, it allows us to save costs when we order the tissue models and save time in the lab as we work more efficiently. In turn, we pass these savings on to you.
  • If we know about your testing requirements in advance and are able to plan with you for the longer term, we can often offer preferential pricing. We’re happy to advise on the optimal strategy for different budgets and always welcome a conversation when planning for the future – it’s how we create true partnerships.
  • It’s always worth asking us what new tests we have in our R&D pipeline as you may be able to save budget by either placing all your work under one roof, or because some in vitro methods may prove to be cheaper than existing alternatives.


If you’re not quite sure which safety or efficacy tests you might need for next year’s NPD programme, we will take time to understand your requirements and give you the right advice for your circumstances. We usually start by asking whether you need your test results for a regulatory submission. And we do know how Brexit is adding to the confusion here for clients selling in the UK and the EU. If not, are you looking to understand a substance’s properties as part of a product development or pre-clinical programme?

XCellR8’s regulatory tests for skin and eye irritation, skin sensitisation and skin corrosion give a binary answer eg is this substance an irritant or not. Our non-regulatory tests can be used to benchmark a product or ingredient against other items in your range, or even a competitor’s.  For instance, a new formulation might be classed as a mild irritant compared to a moderate irritant which is the industry best seller.

When it comes to in vitro testing for skin sensitisation, current guidance recommends the ‘2 out of 3’ approach meaning that if your item or substance tests positive in 2 of the 3 tests for skin sensitisation (OECD TGs 442c, 442d and 442e) it will be classed as a Skin Sensitiser. This means that in some circumstances, you may not need all 3 tests.


We know that many budgets get squeezed and testing finished products is often the ‘nice to have’ that gets taken out. However, more and more clients are asking us to test finished products for a variety of reasons. Sometimes there is an assumption that a natural product doesn’t need to be tested but an increasing body of evidence shows that natural doesn’t automatically equal harmless. For instance, certain pieces of fruit are perfectly safe for most people to eat but do you know how they may affect the skin? We are also learning that the provenance of ingredients can affect how a product performs – things like the country from which it was sourced, or the time of year it was harvested or picked – meaning that testing the finished formulation is really the responsible way to prove its safety for humans.

As new guidance from CTPA and the EU has been published, stating that the claim ‘not tested on animals’ should no longer be used in cosmetic marketing, a positive statement about how you have tested your product could be the point of differentiation that will make you the hero of your marketing department.

We know that budgeting can be a painful process but don’t suffer in silence.  Get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.