Ask a RIFM Scientist

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Is RIFM collaborating on NAMs for photoallergenicity?

Gretchen Ritacco, MS

As part of its commitment to ending animal testing, the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) constantly collaborates with scientists worldwide to develop new approach methodologies (NAMs) that can replace unnecessary and costly animal tests. This focus on NAMs is essential since there are currently no approved in vivo or in vitro tests for photoallergenicity. Scientists can now only use UV/Vis spectra analyses to predict the potential of a fragrance material to cause photoallergenicity.  

RIFM scientists will attend the Society of Toxicology (SOT) Annual Meeting in March 2023 and present recent collaborative projects with SenzaGen and the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), and cosmetic company Shiseido.

A modified version of SenzaGen’s GARDskin assay, with an additional UV exposure step, has been analyzed in collaborative studies and has shown promising results. We presented the preliminary results in a recent webinar (view a recording here) and will present additional data at the Society of Toxicology’s 62nd Annual Meeting later this month.  

In collaboration with IIVS and Shiseido, RIFM scientists are studying three assays (DPRA, Keratinosens, and h-CLAT) currently only used to test for skin sensitization, modified with a UV exposure step, to determine if we can use them to assess photoallergenicity. We will present the preliminary results of this collaborative effort at the SOT Annual Meeting.

Even though more data are needed, these studies may help to develop reliable and effective ways of testing for photoallergenicity without compromising on our commitment to ending animal testing.

Principal Scientist Gretchen Ritacco leads RIFM’s Photoirritation/Photoallergenicity research and safety assessment programs.

Watch: A video introduction to what RIFM will present at SOT’s 2023 Annual Meeting

Related: SOT produced this introductory video to RIFM’s work for a previous online event