Cosmetics is the most rapidly growing industry in the in-vitro testing marketing while the pharmaceuticals industry sees the greatest demand for the technique, according to the Persistence Market Research report In-Vitro Toxicity Testing Market: Global Industry Analysis and Forecast to 2020.
“Support from regulatory authorities for using in-vitro and in-silico methods for studying toxicity of a substance is driving the in-vitro toxicity testing market in cosmetic industry,” the report states.
Asian market forces
Rapid adoption of in-vitro testing techniques in China and India “is due to large investment by various major companies in these countries. Some of the key driving forces for in-vitro toxicity testing market in emerging countries are rising government funding and growing awareness about new technologies,” explains the report.
The procedure, which in the cosmetics industry is used for assessing reactions to ingredients and formulations as well as to explore toxicity, has been incorporated into R&D workflows earlier as technology advances.
Baxter Laboratories, an Australian company, has a new Immune Balance Rating testing method that checks for a hypoallergenic response to both raw materials and finished goods.
“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,” said Bruno Malepa of Baxter Laboratories about IBR.
Animal testing bans
The Persistence Market Research report identifies “government initiatives such as passing of anti-animal testing laws and more awareness among the people [as] some of the major factors driving the in-vitro toxicity testing market.”
India was the first country in South Asia to ban animal testing, when that country’s Bureau of Indian Standards revised its cosmetics policy last summer. At the time parliament member Baijayant Panda pointed out that “this is a great day for India and for thousands of animals who will no longer suffer, yet our government must go a step further by banning cosmetics products that are tested in animals abroad and then imported and sold here in India.”
Notably, China has made moves within the past year to end animal testing too. With vivisection falling out of favour with consumers, governments and socially responsible companies, in-vitro testing (studying cells in dishes rather than bodies) is becoming reasonably widespread.