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Webinar: Overcoming challenges in skin sensitization testing with GARDskin OECD TG 442E

22 February, 2023 @ 16:00 - 17:00

Free webinar on Feb 22, 2023 | 4pm CET | 10am EST

Together with guest speakers Dr Marco Corvaro, Technical Team Leader, Regulatory Toxicology at Corteva Agriscience and Gretchen Ritacco, Principal Scientist at the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM), we will discuss the challenges in skin sensitization testing and present new scientific data on agrochemical formulations, “difficult-to-test” substances, potency assessment and the potential to further broaden the applicability of the GARD assay to assess the endpoint of photosensitization.



  • Challenges in skin sensitization assessment.
  • Update on the recent OECD approval of GARD®skin TG 442E.
  • Case studies on “difficult-to-test” substances and quantitative potency assessment.
  • Case study: Investigating the applicability domain of GARD®skin and GARD®potency for agrochemical formulations. Presented by Dr Marco Corvaro, Corteva Agrisciences.
  • New application: An introduction to photosensitization and why there is a need for development of predictive assays capable of discriminating between photosensitization and photoirritancy.


The webinar will last around 45 minutes, followed by a live Q&A. If you cannot attend the live event, register now to get access to the recording.


Overcoming challenges in skin sensitization testing with GARD®skin OECD TG 442E

The field of skin sensitization assessment is rapidly evolving. New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) have been developed to increase predictivity, broaden the applicability and to provide reliable quantitative and qualitative potency assessments.

As the first and only genomics and machine learning-based method, GARDskin has been included into OECD Test Guideline 442E for in vitro skin sensitization. The scientific data published in the TG confirms the high performance and broad applicability of the method, bringing new opportunities to the field of in vitro skin sensitization testing.

Phototoxicity is a term used to describe chemicals which has the inherent potential to become photoactivated when exposed to UV-light, giving rise to otherwise dormant adverse effects. Such effects may include both irritation and sensitization. In terms of risk management, the distinction of the two types of chemicals is important, as the hazardous exposure effects of photoirritants can be reduced by concentration limits, whereas photoallergenic properties currently results in a ban of the chemical at hand. SenzaGen and the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) are collaborating to investigate and develop New Approach Methods (NAMs) for identification and discrimination of photosensitizers from photoirritants. Preliminary data from the incorporation of an UV-exposure step to the original protocol of GARDskin Dose-Response will be illustrated, and the potential of this approach to simultaneously identify and distinguish between photosensitization and photoirritation will be discussed. 


Dr Marco Covaro
Technical Team Leader, Regulatory Toxicology at Corteva Agriscience

Dr Corvaro has more than 15 years of experience in the safety evaluation of regulated products in a variety of industry sectors. He is a European Registered Toxicologist (ERT) and works as technical lead in Regulatory Toxicology at Corteva. He also acts as the group focal point for activities in the 3R area, including reduction and alternatives to animal toxicity testing and has been part of several technical expert groups at OECD, EChA, ECETOC, EPAA, CLE (previously ECPA and EuropaBio) aimed at scientific consensus building and science communication within the regulatory community.

Gretchen Ritacco
Principal Scientist, Dermatotoxicology at RIFM

Gretchen Ritacco leads the Photosafety program at the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM). Her duties include evaluating fragrance materials in support of RIFM’s Fragrance Ingredient Safety Assessments and managing RIFM’s photoallergy research. In addition, she is engaged in collaborations with industry leaders to investigate new approaches to evaluate the photoallergenic potential of fragrance materials. Before RIFM, Gretchen worked in the Allergy and Asthma Discovery Research group at Schering Plough Research Institute. She evaluated lead development candidates for treating pulmonary disorders, refined measurement of allergic airway disease, and investigated markers of airway inflammation. Gretchen is a member of the Society of Toxicology (SOT) and both the European and American Societies of Photobiology (ESP & ASP, respectively).

Dr Andy Forreryd
Scientific Liaison at SenzaGen

Dr Forreryd has many years of experience working with in vitro assay development, genomics and machine learning. He is also co-developer of the GARD platform for the assessment of chemical sensitizers and is the inventor of two patents related to the technology.




22 February, 2023
16:00 - 17:00
Event Category:


22 February, 2023
16:00 - 17:00
Event Category: