Swedish SenzaGen teams up with Chinese animal-free testing specialist

The partnership comes at a time when a ban on animal experiments is expected

SenzaGen, the Lund university spin-off, has initiated a partnership with Guangzhou Chn-Alternative Biotechnology (CHNALT), a provider of alternative, animal-free testing methods in China. The new collaboration aims to establish local networks and ensure SenzaGen with its GARD genome-based testing method has a strong position as China moves towards the introduction of animal-free chemical testing methods.

China is one of the world's largest markets, with an expected ban on animal experiments in the cosmetics industry, for example.

CHNALT is spearheaded by Dr Shu-jun Cheng, one of China's foremost toxicologists and key opinion leaders when it comes to alternative, animal-free testing methods. He is a professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

“We are very pleased to be able to initiate a formal collaboration with such an active and well-respected champion of animal-free testing in China. Dr Cheng is a strong voice and has been driving the development of alternative testing methods in China for many years," said Anki Malmborg Hager, SenzaGen CEO.

Malmborg Hager said as SenzaGen’s partner, CHNALT's CEO can offer expertise and direct contact with industry and gradually establish GARD as the first-choice method for animal-free testing. "We see many opportunities arising and this collaboration will ensure we are fully prepared the day the market is ready for our products," he added.

SenzaGen's strategy is to establish strong partnerships in markets where animal testing is prohibited or where a ban is expected to be introduced.

Animal-free testing

So far, animal data are mostly compulsory for allergy testing of substances in China, but there are strong forces for introducing alternative methods and in the long term a ban.

Commenting on the partnership,Dr Cheng said: “We are looking forward to driving the change within the industry and academia together with SenzaGen. Our ambition is to make alternative methods accepted for chemicals and cosmetics testing in China. We also firmly believe that GARD assays, as next-generation genome-based testing methods, will serve as high-performance tools supporting the research and development of safer, allergy-free products."

GARD is a genome-based test that has higher reliability than other available test methods on the market. The test gives customers important safety information about the risk of chemical substances causing allergies in humans.

Companies