SenzaGen and AstraZeneca initiate technology development collaboration

SenzaGen has signed a collaboration agreement with the global biopharmaceutical  company AstraZeneca. The collaboration focuses on  testing and development of SenzaGen’s sensitization test GARDair, in order to distinguish between allergens and irritants in the respiratory tract. The goal is the validation of in vitro toxicological tests that could be applied to the discovery of new treatments for respiratory diseases without respiratory tract irritancy as a side effect.


The collaboration means that SenzaGen will use its leading technology platform GARD, with the help of AstraZeneca’s well-documented substance libraries, to develop a new genomic signature to distinguish allergens from irritants in the respiratory tract, something which is not possible today with in vitro methods. GARD examines and finds allergens in chemicals and medicines through a unique technology in accordance with the international 3Rs principle, Reduce, Replace and Refine, as an alternative to animal testing.

“During our research and drug discovery activities, it is important to be able to identify and mitigate potential toxicological issues as early as possible, to ensure our novel candidate drugs have the right safety profile for patients. This requires in vitro toxicological methods that are properly validated for their predictivity of clinical toxicity and that are compatible with integration into the drug discovery process. By combining SenzaGen’s technological expertise and our experience with inhaled compounds, we aim to develop a novel method to investigate whether novel drug-like molecules induce similar genomic signatures as known respiratory irritants. That could ultimately be applied to steer away from a potential irritancy hazard and enable the discovery of safer drugs for patients’” says Jorrit Hornberg, Director of Discovery Safety at AstraZeneca Gothenburg.

With this new agreement SenzaGen is initiating yet another important development collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry. SenzaGen’s focus is on introducing its tests into the pharmaceutical industry and on striving to demonstrate that there are safer and more accurate tests than those that use animals.

“This collaboration with AstraZeneca is a milestone for SenzaGen. It shows that leading pharmaceutical companies see the potential of next-generation testing and that this testing has considerable industrial value. Furthermore, the collaboration will provide SenzaGen with valuable knowledge and will help to refine and develop our GARD test for further commercial opportunities,”says Anki Malmborg Hager, CEO of SenzaGen.

The research project will run for 12 to 18 months and is in collaboration with AstraZeneca Gothenburg, contributing to the EU Horizon 2020 project granted to SenzaGen for the development of in vitro respiratory sensitization test.


For more information:

Anki Malmborg Hager, VD, SenzaGen AB
Tel: +46 768 284822



About GARD
GARD is a group of tests for assessing chemical skin sensitizers. The tests make use of genetic biomarkers for more than 200 genes which cover the entire immune reaction and are relevant to predicting the risk of hypersensitivity. The tests have 90% reliability. This compares with the current predominant test method, experiments on mice, which has a reliability rating of 72%. SenzaGen’s tests are also capable of measuring the potency of a substance’s allergenic properties. Consequently GARD tests provide a much more comprehensive basis for determining whether a substance should be classified as an allergen than current testing methods.

About SenzaGen
SenzaGen makes it possible to replace animal experiments with in vitro genetic testing to determine the allergenicity of the chemicals we come into contact with in our daily lives, such as for example in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food products and dyes. The company’s patented tests are the most reliable on the market and provide more information than traditional evaluation methods. We ourselves sell the tests in Sweden and the USA, and we sell through partners in several other countries. Over the next few years the company will expand geographically, make alliances with more distribution partners and launch further unique tests. SenzaGen has its headquarters in Lund in Sweden and a subsidiary in San Francisco, USA. For more information visit

 About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three main therapy areas – Oncology, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases and Respiratory. The Company also is selectively active in the areas of autoimmunity, neuroscience and infection. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

SenzaGen signs new customer – entry into the pharmaceutical industry

SenzaGen has signed a strategic contract with a major international pharmaceutical company. This means that SenzaGen’s test GARD will be used for the testing of drug candidates in early development. The agreement opens up a whole new market for GARD, which previously has been used primarily for testing in the cosmetics industry.

Based at Medicon Village in Lund, SenzaGen develops and implements animal-free allergy tests on chemicals and proteins. SenzaGen’s test GARD (Genomic Allergen Rapid Detection) has been developed over 15 years and measures significantly more parameters than existing tests on the market. This makes GARD a safer and more effective test than other available options.

So far, GARD has primarily been used for testing in the cosmetics industry to detect potential allergens in products, but it is now entering the pharmaceutical industry.

“Since the start, collaborations with pharmaceutical companies has been a major objective for SenzaGen. We see great potential in this market and we are looking forward to learning more about the industry, with an ambition to be able to develop and offer GARD to even more customers in the pharmaceutical industry”, says Anki Malmborg Hager, CEO SenzaGen

The main advantage of using GARD is that the test is based on genomic technology and is performed in vitro. This is the first time that a pharmaceutical customer uses SenzaGen’s method. The tests can be done in a very early phase of drug development, which helps pharmaceutical companies to develop safer drugs at faster pace and at a lower cost.


For more information:
Anki Malmborg Hager, CEO, SenzaGen AB
Phone: +46 768 284822


About SenzaGen
SenzaGen provides in vitro testing for the cosmetic, chemical and pharmaceutical industries replacing the need for animal testing. The company’s unique test GARD is based on research from the Department of Immune Technology at Lund University. SenzaGen is based at Medicon Village in Lund, Sweden and has 10 employees.

About GARD
By analyzing 200 and 389 markers, depending on the test, instead of 1-2 markers as competing methods do, GARD delivers results with 90 % prediction. This can be compared to the gold standard, animal tests on mice, that provide only 72 % prediction. SenzaGen’s test also has the ability to measure potency (strength) of a substance and can thus determine the degree to which a substance is an allergen. Existing, competing tests do not achieve sufficient specificity / sensitivity and lack the ability to measure the potency of a substance.