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XCellR8 Ltd receives funding from Animal Aid to develop new animal-free safety test

Animal-Aid, the national campaign group, pledges £51k to accelerate research, development and commercialisation of acute toxicity test by ethical safety testing laboratory XCellR8.

Daresbury, UK: Today, XCellR8 Ltd., a UK-based laboratory exclusively devoted to 100% animal-free safety and efficacy tests for the cosmetics, personal care and chemical industries, announced significant funding from Animal Aid, the national campaign group. The funds will be vital in supporting XCellR8’s work to develop and commercialise a ground-breaking acute toxicity test. The new, humane test will replace the notorious LD50, so called because the aim of the test is to determine the dose of a given chemical that is lethal to 50% of a group of animals. The evaluation of acute toxicity is one of many safety tests legally required to ensure chemicals and substances are safe for human use.

This funding directly supports the project which will develop a 100% animal-product free (or vegan), human relevant, and validated laboratory test for acute toxicity. This will have significant potential to completely replace the use of animals and animal products. Despite major scientific advances in animal-free toxicology in recent years, more than 80,000 animals are still used annually in acute toxicity testing in the EU alone.

The sum represents 50% of the total matched funding required to supplement a research grant already received from Innovate UK. Commenting on the Animal Aid grant

Carol Treasure, Founder and CEO of XCellR8 said “We are immensely grateful to Animal Aid for this huge show of support for our mission to develop scientifically and ethically advanced safety testing. Our values are closely aligned, driven by the desire to eradicate animal suffering and cruelty, so we are excited to work alongside them to raise awareness about the need to replace animal-based acute toxicity testing with more human relevant approaches, from both ethical and scientific viewpoints. This funding paves the way to develop robust non-animal laboratory tests and make them available to industry, directly reducing the numbers of animals used.”

Says Iain Green, Director of Animal Aid, ‘Animal Aid is delighted to be announcing our support for XCellR8 and their ground-breaking work to replace the outdated and incredibly cruel LD50 test. It’s incredible that tests such as these persist today. The tide is turning against animal experiments – the scientific evidence of their unreliability and the public repulsion at the breeding, harming and killing of animals is mounting every day. It’s time for humane, cutting-edge science, the likes of which is exemplified by XCellR8’

About XCellR8

XCellR8 provides entirely animal-free safety and efficacy tests to the cosmetics, personal care and chemical industries. Regulatory tests include assessments for skin or eye irritation, skin sensitization and skin corrosion whilst non-regulatory tests include cytotoxicity and acute toxicity amongst others.

XCellR8’s clients include high street retailers both in the UK and globally, including Lush and The Body Shop, plus multinational chemicals and ingredient manufacturers. XCellR8’s work has been recognised at a regulatory level by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), and supported by top funding bodies such as Innovate UK and the European Horizon 2020 programme.

XCellR8 was founded in 2008 and currently employs around 25 staff at their site in Techspace One, Sci-Tech Daresbury, Cheshire UK

(Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.)

About Animal Aid

Animal Aid campaigns peacefully against all animal abuse, including animal experimentation and farming, and promotes a cruelty-free lifestyle. Working across the UK, Animal Aid was founded in 1977 and is based in Tonbridge.

Animal Aid uses undercover footage, political lobbying, public engagement, education and mobilisation, to work towards their vision of a world that is free from animal abuse and exploitation. Animal Aid’s investigations have recently featured on BBC Panorama, while their campaigning has brought about compulsory CCTV in UK slaughterhouses.