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Thermo Fisher Scientific Introduces Animal-free Test for Endocrine-Active Chemicals

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Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., has introduced the Thermo Scientific ToxInsight Endocrine Profiler Panel (EPP), a groundbreaking new tool for assessing the risk of human exposure to endocrine-active chemicals in the environment.

There is mounting, global concern over the effects of endocrine-active chemicals (i.e. Bisphenol A) on human health. These chemicals have been linked to a range of health problems, from cancer to developmental and reproductive disorders.

The EPP will help chemical, consumer product, agrochemical and food companies meet new regulatory testing requirements (i.e. European REACH) as well as reduce the use of animals in toxicology testing.

Designed to be used with the Thermo Scientific ToxInsight CHPS image cytometry platform, the EPP cartridges measure estrogen and androgen receptor activity in human cell lines.

Each cartridge includes all the cell lines, reagents, assay protocols, growth media, plastic-ware, analysis and data reporting capabilities to profile compounds for endocrine activity with high sensitivity and specificity.

The EPP cartridges have been validated with a known endocrine compound “truth-set,” delivering data in concordance with traditional animal-based testing methods.

Current animal-based methods, such as rodent histology and rodent ligand-binding assays, are expensive, sacrifice animals, are qualitative and difficult to standardize and simply cannot scale to the throughput required for screening the hundreds of thousands of endocrine active chemicals required under new regulations.

In contrast, the EPP cartridges, coupled to the ToxInsight CHPS platform, offer a high-throughput, quantitative pre-screen for primary toxicology assessment, as well as a selection of chemicals for follow-up animal studies, in a simple mix-and-read format that is easily standardized.

Key to the power of the EPP cartridges is powerful analytical and visualization software that makes sense of the multi-parameter data from each cartridge. The software supports analysis and toxicity determination of endocrine-active compounds with broad mechanisms of action because it simultaneously monitors multiple, independent indicators of cytotoxicity and receptor fate.

Intuitive reporting tools provide users with an analysis of both endocrine activity (estrogen or androgen) as well as the magnitude of that response.

Compared to traditional biochemical assays (such as cell count, LDH, MTT etc.), the ToxInsight CHPS platform makes multiple measurements on each cell, generating a phenotype rather than a single measurement.

This automated, bench-top platform is easy-to-use and provides physiologically relevant toxicity assays in vitro, reducing the reliance on late-stage histopathology or animal studies.

The ToxInsight CHPS platform not only profiles compounds for their toxicity risk, but also determines the mechanism of action of any toxicity detected, enabling researchers to rapidly understand the risk of an endocrine-active chemical in minutes.

The EPP assay and ToxInsight CHPS platform will be exclusively demonstrated at booth 12 at the 8th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, Montreal, Canada, Aug. 21-25, 2011.