A UK consortium has won Phase 1 funding from the UK's National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) to develop an animal-free approach for assessing the metabolism of candidate drugs and consumer use chemicals in human skin.
The consortium, led by Phenotox, a company which specialises in enabling animal-free technologies, has won the funding in the NC3Rs' CRACK IT Metaboderm Challenge competition.
The other members of the consortium are Innovenn, Manchester University Pharmacy School and Sheffield Hallam University Biomedical Research Centre.
Innovenn’s in vitro human skin model Labskin is being optimised for metabolism studies of topically applied chemicals. Manchester University is quantifying the chemical metabolising enzymes in Labskin using proteomics. Sheffield Hallam University is pioneering a novel mass spectrometry imaging technique that will allow the activity of chemical metabolising enzymes to be localised in Labskin.
If successful in Phase 1, the consortium will go on to use proteomic and imaging data to build computational models to provide a more accurate prediction of how the human skin metabolises chemicals. This solution would offer an animal-free alternative to assess the metabolism of drugs and consumer health chemicals in human skin.