Baxter Laboratories develops new in-vitro skin testing method

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Baxter Laboratories develops new in-vitro skin testing method

Related tags Skin

Australia-based Baxter Laboratories has developed an in-vitro skin compatibility and safety test which targeted the move away from testing products on animals.

Described as quick, cost effective and most importantly an accurate method, Baxter Laboratories collaborated with Melbourne-based educational institutions Monash University and RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) to develop a new Immune Balance Rating (IBR) system for assessing reactions to topically applied ingredients and formulations.

The tests are conducted on both human skin cells and immune cells to determine a potential hypoallergenic response and ultimately provide evidence-based information to support and substantiate product claims.

IBR test has been five years in the making

The launch of the IBR test is the result of five years of research and development. The test demonstrates that it is suitable for use on raw materials, and finished goods in both the cosmetics, personal care, as well as for the pharmaceutical industry.

“The unique property of this testing system is that products can be ranked in order of the immune response they illicit and can essentially rank competing products in order of skin compatibility”​, commented Bruno Malepa, at Baxter Laboratories.

All over the Asia Pacific region, measures are in hand to end the animal testing of both ingredients and cosmetic products. Indeed, the regulatory bodies in the two largest markets – India and China – have both made moves in the course of the past year that aim to end the practice.

Suitable for topical testing in any region

“The test method can be used on all topical products in any market. China seems a logical place to commence, given the changes in animal testing legislation, but ultimately it will depend on acceptance by companies and regulatory bodies in any region,” ​Baxter told Cosmetics Design.

According to the company, theIBR test system includes three general product indicators applicable to all dermally applied formulations and two other more specific indicators, as follows:

  • Immunostimulation
  • Immunosuppression
  • Phototoxicity
  • Protection against UV damage
  • Protection against UV immunosuppression The above are assessed using a star system. Five stars gives the product low hypoallergenicity and no UV photo-ageing.

“For manufacturers, this test method has the potential to accelerate R&D and increase speed to market for topical products, because skin compatibility evaluations can be conducted in-vitro,”​ Baxter said.

Related topics Regulation & Safety

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