The third report under Article 111(3) on REACH is covering data on over substances, concluding that with more than 6 000 substances submitted, alternatives animal testing were widely used. 6 290 substances were analysed for the report. Out of these, 89 % have at least one data endpoint where an alternative was used instead of a study on animals. Read across with information on similar substances was prefered for 60% of the substances analysed, but the report highlight the fact that oftenly registrants didn’t provide enough scientific evidence to support their read across case.

ECHA promote the use of appropriate in vitro methods, including new high throughput assessment methods, which can “provide more human revelant information”. Toxicity assays provided by HCS Pharma are developed on our high throughput platform, allows analysing toxic events, as genotoxicity, hepatotoxicity, neurotoxicity or cardiotoxicity for your information requested by ECHA.

Options that registrants use to cover REACH information requirements for different data endpoints

Source : The use of alternatives to testing on animals for the REACH Regulation

Since few years, the technology is more and more used to finaly create organ-on-a-chip and now body-on-chip with different organs. More and more academical units and collaborative projects allowed to succed to miniaturise different organs in different chambers on a chip connected with microfluidy. Lung, liver, kidney, heart, bone, bone marrow, adipose tissue, intestine, skin, blood vessels, blood-brain barrier are already exist on a chip. But the way is long and some problems are still not resolved as  the use of polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which absorbed hydrophobic drugs.

But can we imagine to have all organs of the body on a chip to test the safety of a drug in one in vitro experiment? This was the project of different partnairs and collaborations and one is in France in Compiegne:

“Une équipe française est active dans ce domaine. Basée à l’université de technologie de Compiègne, elle travaille avec le laboratoire franco-japonais LIMMS (CNRS université de Tokyo) à la mise au point d’un foie sur puce. En Europe, cinq partenaires, implantés en Suisse, Belgique, Allemagne et Royaume-Uni, collaborent à un projet de body-on-a-chip qui a reçu de l’UE un financement de 1,4.million d’euros. Une puce comprenant quatre types de cellules (foie, tumeur, muscle cardiaque, tissu nerveux) a été réalisée. Aux États-Unis, le projet de body-on-a-chip du MIT a reçu une subvention de 32 millions de dollars, le Wyss Institute une enveloppe de 37 millions.”

Can we imagine to replace the majority of animal testing and to be more and more predictive during the preclinical phases with all these new technologies (microfluidy, bioprinting,…). And by using cells coming from patients as IPS with using these new technologies, we will slowly but surely towards personalized medicine.

To know more on this project on body on a chip, go to this link (article in french):