XCellR8 was launched in 2008 when we began our mission to provide scientifically advanced testing services to the cosmetics industry, without the use of animals or animal products. Our state-of-the-art laboratory can be found at the Innovation Centre on the Sci-Tech Daresbury campus in Cheshire.
Our founders, Dr Carol Treasure and Bushra Sim, met whilst working at Cascade Biologics where they provided human cell culture systems to scientists, helping them to adopt non-animal technologies in their research and development.
Carol and Bushra combined their scientific and commercial skills in the XCellR8 laboratory to establish methods for key safety tests including skin and eye irritation, skin sensitisation, skin corrosion, genotoxicity and cytotoxicity, quickly winning work from global cosmetic brand leaders including Lush. They also set up a number of efficacy tests to help cosmetic claim support, particularly around anti-oxidant activity, mildness and anti-ageing.
In 2013, the laboratory achieved Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) accreditation, followed by the Lush Prize for providing training in ethically sound and scientifically advanced human cell culture research technologies.
This proved to be a springboard to further success. New client wins came from the international cosmetics, personal care and chemical industries and ranged from fast-growth SMEs to large ingredient manufacturers and high street names. The XCellR8 team grew to 11 people, with no signs of slowing yet.
A WORLD-FIRST ACHIEVEMENT
And in perhaps our most significant development, which proved to be a world-first, our animal-free tests were recognised at a regulatory level by the OECD and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Top funding bodies Innovate UK and the European Horizon 2020 programme supported our work. For XCellR8 clients, this overcomes the inherent conflict in achieving the safety demands of EU REACH regulations and the ethical demands of the EU Cosmetic Regulation.
Put simply, we believe that safety and efficacy tests that use human cells are more accurate and reproducible than any animal test, and are delighted to have regulatory recognition of this.