In the development of products for use by humans, it is vital to identify compounds with toxic properties at an early stage of their development, in order to avoid spending time and resource on unsuitable and potentially unsafe candidate products. New cosmetic products launched on the European market need to be assessed for safety to human health. The development of non-animal alternative methods represents a considerable scientific challenge.
SCR&Tox aims at addressing the unmet need for testing methods to predict toxicity of drugs, chemicals and cosmetic ingredients and human pluripotent stem cell lines offer a unique opportunity to develop a wide variety of human cell-based test systems as they may be expanded indefinitely and triggered to differentiate into any cell type. SCR&Tox has been designed to make use of these two attributes to provide in vitro assays for predicting toxicity of pharmaceutical compounds and cosmetic ingredients and to address all issues related with biological and technological resources to meet this goal.
SCR&Tox is integral part of the European research initiative SEURAT-1 (Safety Evaluation Ultimately Replacing Animal Testing) co-funded by EU-FP7 HEALTH programme and Cosmetics Europe (former COLIPA). The SEURAT-1 cluster includes six research projects aiming at a common strategy “towards the replacement of current repeated dose systemic toxicity testing in human safety assessment”.
SCR&Tox will be tightly associated to the other consortia of the SEURAT-1 research cluster, sharing biological, technological and methodological resources. Proof of concept of the proposed pluripotent stem cell-based assays for toxicology will be provided on the basis of toxicity pathways and test compounds identified by other consortia.