Today we are thrilled to announce Animal Aid’s new grant towards XCellR8’s one-of-a-kind animal-free acute toxicity research.

What is acute toxicity and what have we done so far?

Acute toxicity means short-term effects of chemicals on our bodies. This includes ingredients of:

  • Shampoos, conditioners, bath and shower products
  • Skincare and make-up
  • Household cleaning products
  • Pesticides and fertilisers food additives
  • Healthcare products

Heartbreakingly, more than 80,000 animals are used every year in acute toxicity testing in the EU alone, and millions worldwide. For almost 100 years, acute toxicity has been tested using cruel and old-fashioned “LD50” type animal tests, even though they’ve been widely discredited. There are variations of the LD50 test to reflect the 3 main routes by which chemicals enter the body: by mouth, by inhalation, or across the skin. LD50 stands for Lethal Dose to 50% of the animals used. Chemicals are assessed for short term toxic effects by dosing animals with increasing concentrations until scientists find the dose that is lethal to 50% of the animals.

It’s ethically unacceptable AND it’s bad science too, with very little relevance to humans.

Thanks to funding from Innovate UK and Animal Aid , we’ve already developed our first new method to replace acute toxicity testing. “AcutoX” is a human cell-based screen that predicts the toxicity of chemicals entering the human body by mouth. It’s already being used by some leading companies, and crucially, regulators are interested in incorporating the test into their recommended programmes.

Animal Aid’s new funding will drive AcuTox research further

Animal Aid’s new grant will build on the solid foundation of AcutoX, combining this with innovative technology to develop a non-animal replacement for inhalational toxicity tests (Lethal Concentration 50% – LC50). The animal-based LC50, in common with the LD50, aims to kill half of the animals being used. The animals are placed into plastic tubes where their nose is exposed, but they cannot move backwards, turn around or escape. They are then forced to inhale substances, sometimes for many hours, in order to ascertain the LC50 – the concentration of a substance which is lethal to 50% of the animals. The sheer torture of this procedure is clear.

XCellR8 is delighted with the continued support of Animal Aid on this journey of accelerating the world to 100% animal-free testing.

Read more about Animal Aid’s support here.

View media coverage here.