XCellR8, a UK-based, GLP-accredited laboratory focused exclusively on animal-free safety and efficacy tests, announces it has secured £100,000 from Unilever and AstraZeneca to develop vegan-friendly testing for new cosmetics and personal care products. The company says that it is “the only lab globally to make our tests entirely animal-product-free (or vegan); we don’t use serum, tissues or antibodies extracted from animals”.
The £100,000 funding was awarded for a six-month study as part of the CRACK IT Challenges innovation competition that funds collaborations whose prize is sponsored by Unilever and AstraZeneca and co-funded by Unilever. The study’s potential success could lead to to the acceptance of new guidelines used by industry around the world.
We reported in December about another organisation in Mexico called Laboratory for Alternative Research (LIALT) and uses animal-free methods in the toxicological evaluation of all types of products used for human consumption, including chemicals, medicines, cosmetics and household products. One can hope that scientists such as these cause a butterfly effect around the world.
XCellR8 Founder Dr Carol Treasure said to Liverpool Business News: “The increased availability of in vitro testing services has already saved the lives of countless animals and helped to improve the accuracy and reliability of tests that humans rely on to be sure that products are safe. However, the ongoing use of animal components in most of these tests compromises their human relevance and can affect the reproducibility of results – a factor that has been largely overlooked until recently.
“As consumer demand for vegan products, sustainable supply chains and robust product safety grows, we’re delighted to see Unilever and AstraZeneca sponsoring work to address this gap in the science.”