Innovation and transfer: Systems free from animal use

The Alternative Methods Laboratory allows the safety evaluation of cosmetic, phytosanitary and pharmaceutical products, with international validation and acceptance.

The National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) accompanied the presentation of the ‘Alternative Methods Laboratory’ (LMA) at the XXVI COLAMIQC2023 Congress organized by the Argentine Association of Cosmetic Chemists. The aim of the LMA-CONICET stand was to share original research developments, services and the transfer possibilities of alternative methodologies to the use of animals to the cosmetics industry. Besides, the Laboratory offers its testing technology to household disinfection products, phytosanitary products and medical devices.

With more than six years of experience in developments that promote testing in systems free for the use of animals, and with a CONICET team in biotechnology, biology and medicine, the Council’s researcher and director of the Laboratory, Laura Gutiérrez, says: “the main interest is to stop testing on animals, there is a lot of social pressure from consumers as well as legal restrictions in the cosmetics industry. There are more and more countries that have prohibitions, Colombia has a new law, just like Brazil and in Chile it is being dealt with in Congress”.

Gutiérrez describes the LMA activity through the EBAL consortium (Biological Testing with Laboratory Animals), a technological platform to provide support to the pharmaceutical industry in pre-clinical trials and in the safety evaluation of products under development. “They asked us to evaluate the toxicities of other non-pharmaceutical products and since there were alternative methods we did not want to do them in animals, because in Europe it was already prohibited, although in Argentina it was still done. For this reason, within the platform, we put together a line of research, which has now grown into a laboratory of alternative methods in itself”, says the director of the LMA.

It is worth mentioning that the Alternative Methods Laboratory uses methodology that has international validation and acceptance by regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). ) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA). “Our great interest is that more and more laboratories carry out the tests, and to be able to teach them about them, we have agreements with several that include training and education, which enables the possibility of autonomy for the tests, since there are many companies in Argentina that they need this evaluation” affirms Laura Gutiérrez.

“My role in the EBAL platform is to implement quality standards: ISO 17025, 15189 and GLP (Good Laboratory Practices) from the OECD. When Laura begins to buy the equipment and carry out the tests, we implement a quality management system under GLP that is essential to work in the laboratory and to be able to provide a quality service with technically valid results,” says the member of the Support Personnel Career. from CONICET Claudia García Bonelli and adds “I am surprised because everyone wants to go that way, to test cosmetic products without animals, with alternative methods, that is why companies come to the LMA-CONICET stand to exchange ideas and the possibility of testing their products”.

The two-days exhibition and work was attende by Claudio Vilarino and CONICET fellows who are members of the LMA team, as well as representatives of the Health, Food and Biotechnology Coordination, of the Council’s Technology Transfer Management.