EU highlights SenzaGen’s animal-free test – the world’s first of its kind to assess whether chemical substances can cause respiratory allergies

Today, International Asthma Day is being recognized worldwide. Asthma is a global health problem - over 300 million have a diagnosis and nearly 1 million Swedes are affected – a number expected to increase. The EU has invested in the development of the world's first in-vitro test for respiratory sensitization. GARD®air was developed by the Swedish company SenzaGen and predicts whether chemical substances can cause allergic reactions in the airways. The test, which is based on Artificial Intelligence and Genomics, enables not only development of safe products but also preventative measures – something that has not been feasible before. Prior to the EU election, GARD®air has been chosen by the EU for a special campaign on how EU funds are used to create jobs and growth. 

Genetic background and lifestyle are factors that can cause asthma, but the working environment can also be responsible for the condition. Airway allergies can be caused by handling of harmful substances, such as different types of chemicals, in daily work. Hitherto, there have been no animal- free tests for determining the presence of chemicals that can cause allergic reactions in the airways.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Association, many asthma sufferers are diagnosed already in childhood, but equally a large number are also affected as adults – between 10 and 15 per cent of them get asthma because of their working environment. One reason behind this can be re-activated childhood asthma, but people who have never displayed symptoms previously, can also be affected.

For professionals working in manufacturing plants in the cosmetics, chemical and pharmaceutical industries it is important that the chemicals they handle are tested for how they may affect the respiratory tract. This goes for other professional groups too, such as hairdressers, bakers, painters, floor layers and other types of craftsmen. The focus on healthier workplaces in the EU is a driver for safer products and preventative measures.

There is currently a great need for tests in several different industries. GARD®air, developed by Swedish company SenzaGen, which was launched in the autumn of 2018, makes it possible to predict the risk of causing hypersensitivity with high reliability. Using GARD®air, it is possible not only to develop better and safer products, but also not least to be able to offer employees a safe production and work environment.

“When developing for example pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, risk assessment and safety tests are essential for securing the release of safe products to consumers. Furthermore, the risks associated with the production itself should also be evaluated. In cases where a hazardous substance cannot be replaced or avoided, we provide the employer with the knowledge needed to protect the staff in the best way. With the help of GARD®air, it is possible to pro-actively create a safer working environment,” says Anki Malmborg Hager, CEO of SenzaGen.

The development of GARD®air was funded by the EU research initiative Horizon 2020. In conjunction with the EU elections 2019, the EU Commission has chosen GARD®air for a special campaign on how the EU funds are used to create jobs and growth. The campaign takes place during May and June. For more information about the campaign, visit www.europa.eu/investeu and https://europa.eu/investeu/projects/new-kind-allergy-test_en.

Briefly about Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the EU’s framework program for research and innovation. The program comprises the world’s largest investment in research and innovation and has a total budget of around EUR 80 billion (2014-2020). The aim is, among other things, to ensure the EU’s global competitiveness. For more information about Horizon 2020, see https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en.

For more information, please contact: 

Anki Malmborg Hager, CEO, SenzaGen AB
Email: anki.malmborg.hager@senzagen.com| Telephone: +46 768 284822

Tina Dackemark Lawesson, Director Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
Email: tina.lawesson@senzagen.com | Telephone: +46 708 202944

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 the USA.

SenzaGen AB is listed on Nasdaq First North in Stockholm (ticker: SENZA) and FNCA Sweden AB, +46(0)8-528 00 399 info@fnca.se, is the company’s Certified Adviser. For more information, please visit www.senzagen.com.

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