PreciseInhale center stage at packed Fraunhofer ITEM seminar, SOT 2019
Fraunhofer ITEM (Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine) is one of the world’s leading toxicology research organizations. At the SOT (Society of Toxicology) 2019 Conference in Baltimore it presented innovative research carried out using Inhalation Sciences’ PreciseInhale, to over 100 scientists at a packed exhibitor-hosted seminar.
“It was an early seminar right at the beginning of the day—but it was packed” says ISAB CEO Lena Heffler. “The seminar presented PreciseInhale and highly innovative research into animal-free testing carried out using it. The general response was that this is high-status, high-quality work using a precise, fascinating methodology.”
ANIMAL-FREE RESPIRATORY TESTING
“Animal-Free Testing Strategies for Risk Assessment of Inhalable compounds”, described in detail how Fraunhofer ITEM validate and explore toxicology research without using animals.
“They had chosen relevant tox substances for which they had in vivo data” says Heffler “and showed various ways they could screen to produce convincing in vitro data. Detailed data on the nerves, bronchial constriction, immunological cells and general toxicity in the whole epithelia was generated from very small samples of live lung tissue and other methodologies.”
GROWING INTEREST IN ANIMAL-FREE TESTING IN THE US
Replacing, reducing and refining the use of animals in medical testing—the 3Rs—is a well-recognized research priority in Europe. Less so in the US. But that could be changing. “We sensed growing interest,” Heffler says. CSO Per Gerde attended the session “Establishing Effective Alternatives for Acute Oral and Inhalation Systemic Toxicity Testing”. Here representatives from a number of companies, organisations and institutions spoke including Integrated Laboratory Systems ILS, Dow Chemicals and PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals). There is a clear interest for alternative toxicity testing.
“For us as a strong in vitro company with a novel one-animal-at-a-time methodology it was heartening to see.” says Heffler.
LOW SUBSTANCE CONSUMPTION REMAINS POWERFUL DIFFERENTIATOR
ISAB’s Product & Sales Manager Mikael Mikko was in charge of ISAB’s Stand at the event, meeting a wide range of attendees. “The fact that we can run whole tox’ studies, delivering detailed, voluminous data from just 100 mg or less of test substance—that remains a powerful differentiator for us” Mikko says. “In the States high-consumption tox testing requiring large groups of animals to be exposed for up to 28 days is still the norm for many. When we present exceptionally precise data generated from just one animal—in a short, in vivo exposure using tiny amounts of test substance—every time that is of interest.”
SOT was Lena Heffler’s first major Toxicology event as ISAB CEO: “SOT is massive, with 315 exhibitors, 6,000 attendees and hundreds of Research Posters. Yet whatever booth I went into I was warmly welcomed. I had the strong sense that the market knows us now, knows we have something out of the ordinary and realizes we are here to stay. To them we signal quality and precision. Many companies were interested in pursuing a dialogue and partnering up with us.”
Mikael Mikko: “We generated 40 leads at the event and a lot of spontaneous meetings as well as the four pre-scheduled ones we had. ISAB Technology also appeared on a well-received Karolinska Institutet poster presented by Senior Staff Researcher in Toxicology Anna Steneholm. Events like these are crucial for us. And this one went well.”