Tag Archive for: difficult-to-test

Joint publication with Corteva Agriscience: GARD™skin and GARD™potency: A proof-of-concept study investigating applicability domain for agrochemical formulations

New joint publication with Corteva Agriscience.

SenzaGen scientists, alongside the toxicology team at Corteva Agriscience, have recently published a joint study in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, presenting new peer-reviewed evidence on the applicability of GARD® for agrochemical formulations.

The study demonstrates a satisfactory performance of GARD®skin and GARD®potency for skin sensitization hazard and GHS potency categorization of tested agrochemical formulations.

Marco Corvaro, Joseph Henriquez, Raja Settivari, Ulrika Mattson, Andy Forreryd, Robin Gradin, Henrik Johansson, Sean Gehen,
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, Volume 148, 2024, 105595, ISSN 0273-2300,
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yrtph.2024.105595.

Keywords

GARD™; In vitro; Skin sensitisation; NAMs; Agrochemical formulations

Highlights

  • Tested 42 agrochemical formulations to expand applicability domain of GARD.

  • GARDskin showed good accuracy (76.2%), sensitivity (85.0%) and specificity (68.2%).
  • GARDpotency correctly subcategorized 14/17, correctly predicted sensitisers.
  • GARD satisfactory for Key Event 3 characterisation of agrochemical formulations.


Abstract

Several New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) for hazard assessment of skin sensitisers have been formally validated. However, data regarding their applicability on certain product classes are limited. The purpose of this project was to provide initial evidence on the applicability domain of GARD™skin and GARD™potency for the product class of agrochemical formulations.

For this proof of concept, 30 liquid and 12 solid agrochemical formulations were tested in GARDskin for hazard predictions. Formulations predicted as sensitisers were further evaluated in the GARDpotency assay to determine GHS skin sensitisation category. The selected formulations were of product types, efficacy groups and sensitisation hazard classes representative of the industry’s products.

The performance of GARDskin was estimated by comparing results to existing in vivo animal data. The overall accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity were 76.2% (32/42), 85.0% (17/20), and 68.2% (15/22), respectively, with the predictivity for liquid formulations being slightly higher compared to the solid formulations. GARDpotency correctly subcategorized 14 out of the 17 correctly predicted sensitisers. Lack of concordance was justifiable by compositional or borderline response analysis. In conclusion, GARDskin and GARDpotency showed satisfactory performance in this initial proof-of-concept study, which supports consideration of agrochemical formulations being within the applicability domain of the test methods.

 

Practical application of the GARDskin Dose-Response assay to derive a No Expected Sensitization Induction Level (NESIL) value for confirmatory human patch studies to determine safe use level for novel fragrance ingredients

Presented at ACT 2023

T. Lindberg1, Christopher Choi2 , Andy Forreryd1, Ulrika Mattson1, Satoshi Sasaki3
1SenzaGen, Lund, Sweden; and 2Takasago International Corp, Rockleigh NJ, USA;3Takasago International Corp, Hiratsuka city, Kanagawa, Japan

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Summary

  • Combining the results from the GARD®skin Dose-Response assay with other NAMs enables weight-of-evidence based approaches to determine safe use levels of novel fragrance ingredients.
  • Based on the results from the weight-of-evidence approach, confirmatory human patch test and HRIPT are conducted. HRIPT is performed at the top concentration of 11250ug/cm2. Both results are negative, confirming the predicted NESIL-value from GARD®.

 

Abstract

Skin sensitization is one of the required endpoints for the development and registration of novel fragrance ingredients. Traditionally, assessment has been performed combining in vitro and in vivo assays, but recent developments has shifted to the use of New Approach Methodologies (NAMs), without need for in vivo methods. However, none of the proposed NAMs are currently validated for continuous potency predictions, which is required for quantitative risk assessments of novel fragrance ingredients.

The GARD®skin assay (OECD TG 442E) is a genomics-based assay for hazard identification of sensitizers. To meet the need for quantitative potency information, GARD®skin Dose-Response has been developed based on the validated protocols of GARD®skin and generates a dose-response curve to identify the lowest concentration of a test compound required to elicit a positive classification (cDV0-value). These values correlate significantly to LLNA EC3 and human NESIL values.

This study presents the use of the GARDskin Dose-Response assay to determine safe human user levels for one novel fragrance ingredient. The experimentally predicted NESIL value was determined to 37800µg/cm2. Using a weight-of- evidence approach mainly guided by the quantitative data from the GARDskin Dose-Response, confirmatory Human Repeated Insult Patch Testing (HRIPT) studies were conducted and at the tested concentrations, no sensitization reactions were observed. In conclusion, this study expands the toxicologist´s toolbox and illustrates the potential to use the GARDskin Dose-Response assay to derive NESIL values that are protective of human health, without having to rely on the Dermal Sensitization Threshold (DST) approach or reverting to traditional animal testing approaches.

New scientific publication by ExxonMobil: Challenges integrating skin sensitization data for assessment of difficult to test substances

New scientific publication by ExxonMobil.

Check out this newly published article by ExxonMobil focusing on the challenges of determining skin sensitization hazard in the case of difficult-to-test substances with conflicting or low-confidence data, where GARDskin data on UVCBs and hydrophobic substances provides valuable input for the integrated hazard assessment.

The article provides new peer-reviewed evidence for the applicability domain of GARDskin on UVCBs, hydrophobic and highly complex substances.

Greminger A, Frasca J, Goyak K, North C. 
Challenges integrating skin sensitization data for assessment of difficult to test substances. 
ALTEX - Alternatives to animal experimentation, published Oct 12, 2023
doi: 10.14573/altex.2201122. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37843019.

Keywords

LLNA; ToxPi; new approach methodologies; skin sensitization; weight of evidence.


Abstract

Difficult to test substances including poorly soluble, mildly irritating, or Unknown or Variable Composition Complex reaction products or Biological Materials (UVCBs), producing weak or borderline in vivo results, face additional challenges in in vitro assays that often necessitates data integration in a weight of evidence (WOE) approach to inform skin sensitization potential. Here we present several case studies on difficult to test substances and highlight the utility of Toxicological Prioritization Index (ToxPi) as a data visualization tool to compare skin sensitization biological activity. The case study test substances represent two poorly soluble substances, tetrakis (2-ethylbutyl) orthosilicate and decyl palmitate, and two UVCB substances, alkylated anisole and hydrazinecarboximidamide, 2-[(2-hydroxyphenyl)methylene]-, reaction products with 2 undecanone. Data from key events within the skin sensitization adverse outcome pathway were gathered from publicly available sources or specifically generated. Incorporating the data for these case study test substances as well as on chemicals of a known sensitization class (sensitizer, irritating non-sensitizer, and non-sensitizer) into ToxPi produced biological activity profiles which were grouped using unsupervised hierarchical clustering. Three of the case study test substances concluded to lack skin sensitization potential by traditional WOE produced biological activity profiles most consistent with non-sensitizing substances, whereas the prediction was less definitive for a substance considered positive by traditional WOE. Visualizing the data using bioactivity profiles can provide further support for WOE conclusions in certain circumstances but is unlikely to replace WOE as a stand-alone prediction due to limitations of the method including the impact of missing data points.

 

Assessing the Utility of the Genomic Allergen Rapid Detection (GARDskin) Assay to Detect Dermal Sensitization Potential in UVCBs and Formulated Lubricant Products

Presented at Eurotox 2023

T. Lindberg2, A.Greminger1 , K. Goyak1, O. Larne2, R. Gradin2, and A. Forreryd2
1ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences Inc., Annandale, NJ; and 2SenzaGen AB, Lund, Sweden

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Summary

  • GARD®skin is considered to provide useful information in an overall weight of evidence assessment for difficult to test materials (mixtures, UVCBs) with challenging physical chemical properties.
  • The accuracy for prediction of skin sensitization hazard ranged from 66% for formulated lubricants/greases to 100% for synthetic base oils compared to expected outcomes based on reference data.

Abstract

Advances in new approach methods and their combinations into defined approaches can provide clarity and confidence in concluding on skin sensitization potential. However, challenges remain in utilizing these approaches for difficult to test materials such as those with challenging physical chemical properties (low water solubility, hydrophobic substances) or complex compositions like Unknown or Variable Composition Complex reaction products or Biological Materials (UVCBs) and formulated mixtures. The previously developed available non-animal test methods for skin sensitization based on key-events of the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) have clearly defined requirements for test material properties that impact feasibility or confound reliance on negative results particularly for difficult to test materials and impedes the application of defined approaches to conclude on skin sensitization hazard. A set of difficult to test materials were evaluated in the recently validated GARDskin assay since it offered advantages such as a broader applicability domain, availability of additional validated test solvents for poorly soluble materials and provides mechanistically relevant information on key events from across the skin sensitization AOP. The aim of the study was to evaluate the accuracy of the GARDskin assay for a set of synthetic base oils (UVCBs), lubricant additives (UVCBs/poorly soluble substances) and fully formulated lubricants/greases (mixtures) as well as to provide additional information to assist in a weight of evidence determination given that several of the test materials had borderline or conflicting data from other key events within the skin sensitization AOP. All test items were adequately solubilized in one of the following solvents, Ethanol (0.1% final), DMSO (0.25% or 0.1% final), or Xylenes (0.1% final). SenzaCells were incubated in triplicate under standard conditions with the test items at a max concentration of 500uM for those with a known molecular weight or 100 ppm (w/v) for those without a known molecular weight. Following cell stimulations, RNA was isolated and endpoint measurements were performed using the GARDskin genomic profile signature. Based on the results of this study, the accuracy for prediction of skin sensitization hazard was 100% for synthetic base oils (n=4), 83% for lubricant additives (n=6), and 66% for formulated lubricants/greases (n=6) compared to expected outcomes based on available reference data. In some cases, the available reference data was borderline or considered to have low confidence due to confounding factors such as irritation, and nonmonotonic dose responses impacting the accuracy determination when compared one to one with either animal or human data. However, the GARDskin assay is considered to provide useful insight into the overall weight of evidence for difficult to test materials with conflicting datasets as it provides an additional profile of bioactivity across the skin sensitization adverse outcome pathway. 

 

Expanding the applicability domain of NAMs for skin sensitization testing: A case study using GARDskin for assessment of metals

Presented at the 12th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, 2023

Andy Forreryd1, Robin Gradin1 , Olivia Larne1, Nissanka Rajapakse2, Henrik Johansson1, 1SenzaGen AB, Lund, Sweden; and 2Johnson Matthey, UK

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Summary

  • Limited data are currently available to support the inclusion of metals into the applicability domain of the OECD TG 442 series of assays.
  • GARD®skin (OECD TG 442 E) correctly predicted 11/12 metals in this study, including nickel which is a false negative in LLNA.
  • GARD®skin has the potential to reduce the need for animal testing for the endpoint of skin sensitization within the metal production and medical device sectors.

 

Abstract

New Approach Methods (NAMs) for detection of sensitization have been validated and adopted as OECD TGs during the last decade. These assays target different Key Events (KE) in the AOP for skin sensitization and are increasingly being applied to replace animal models within different chemical sectors. However, further characterization of the applicability domain (AD) of these assays is critical to understand limitations and to facilitate regulatory uptake in other industrial sectors. Of particular interest from a scientific and regulatory perspective is the potential to use NAMs for assessment of metals, which have been proposed to act via alternative mechanisms to organic chemicals. The current study describes a joint effort by industry and assay developers to evaluate the AD of the GARDskin assay for metal compounds.  GARDskin is the first harmonised method utilizing a combination of genomics and machine learning for a regulatory endpoint and was recently adopted into OECD TG442E.

A selection of metal salts (n=13) was evaluated and the accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity for prediction of skin sensitizing hazard of metals were estimated to 92% (12/13), 100% (7/7) and 83% (5/6), respectively. Interestingly, transcriptomic analysis revealed almost identical response patterns in dendritic cells for metals and organic compounds, indicating a high similarity in the toxicity pathways driving classifications. In conclusion, the result from this study supports the inclusion of metals into the AD of GARDskin, which is an important step to ensure scientific/regulatory confidence to reduce the need for animal testing within the metal production and medical device sector.

Assessing the Utility of the Genomic Allergen Rapid Detection (GARDskin) Assay to Detect Dermal Sensitization Potential in UVCBs and Formulated Lubricant Products

Presented at SOT 2023

A. Greminger1, K. Goyak1, T. Lindberg2, O. Larne2 , R. Gradin2, and A. Forreryd2
1ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences Inc., Annandale, NJ; and 2SenzaGen AB, Lund, Sweden

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Summary

  • GARD®skin is considered to provide useful information in an overall weight of evidence assessment for difficult to test materials (mixtures, UVCBs) with challenging physical chemical properties.
  • The accuracy for prediction of skin sensitization hazard ranged from 66% for formulated lubricants/greases to 100% for synthetic base oils compared to expected outcomes based on reference data.

Abstract

Advances in new approach methods and their combinations into defined approaches can provide clarity and confidence in concluding on skin sensitization potential. However, challenges remain in utilizing these approaches for difficult to test materials such as those with challenging physical chemical properties (low water solubility, hydrophobic substances) or complex compositions like Unknown or Variable Composition Complex reaction products or Biological Materials (UVCBs) and formulated mixtures. The previously developed available non-animal test methods for skin sensitization based on key-events of the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) have clearly defined requirements for test material properties that impact feasibility or confound reliance on negative results particularly for difficult to test materials and impedes the application of defined approaches to conclude on skin sensitization hazard. A set of difficult to test materials were evaluated in the recently validated GARDskin assay since it offered advantages such as a broader applicability domain, availability of additional validated test solvents for poorly soluble materials and provides mechanistically relevant information on key events from across the skin sensitization AOP. The aim of the study was to evaluate the accuracy of the GARDskin assay for a set of synthetic base oils (UVCBs), lubricant additives (UVCBs/poorly soluble substances) and fully formulated lubricants/greases (mixtures) as well as to provide additional information to assist in a weight of evidence determination given that several of the test materials had borderline or conflicting data from other key events within the skin sensitization AOP. All test items were adequately solubilized in one of the following solvents, Ethanol (0.1% final), DMSO (0.25% or 0.1% final), or Xylenes (0.1% final). SenzaCells were incubated in triplicate under standard conditions with the test items at a max concentration of 500uM for those with a known molecular weight or 100 ppm (w/v) for those without a known molecular weight. Following cell stimulations, RNA was isolated and endpoint measurements were performed using the GARDskin genomic profile signature. Based on the results of this study, the accuracy for prediction of skin sensitization hazard was 100% for synthetic base oils (n=4), 83% for lubricant additives (n=6), and 66% for formulated lubricants/greases (n=6) compared to expected outcomes based on available reference data. In some cases, the available reference data was borderline or considered to have low confidence due to confounding factors such as irritation, and nonmonotonic dose responses impacting the accuracy determination when compared one to one with either animal or human data. However, the GARDskin assay is considered to provide useful insight into the overall weight of evidence for difficult to test materials with conflicting datasets as it provides an additional profile of bioactivity across the skin sensitization adverse outcome pathway. 

 

The GARDskin assay: Investigation of the applicability domain for metals

Joint publication with Johnson Matthey

ALTEX – Alternatives to animal experimentation, published Nov 03, 2022, accepted manuscript

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14573/altex.2203021

Forreryd, A., Gradin, R., Larne, O., Rajapakse, N., Deag, E. and Johansson, H.


Abstract

New approach methods (NAMs) for hazard identification of skin sensitizing chemicals have been adopted as test guidelines by the OECD during the last decade as alternatives to animal models. These models align to individual key events (KE) in the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) for skin sensitization for which the molecular initiating event (MIE) is covalent binding to proteins. As it currently stands, the AOP does not include mechanistic events of sensitization by metals, and limited information is available on whether NAMs accurately the predict sensitization potential of such molecules, which have been proposed to act via alternative mechanisms to organic chemicals.

Methods for assessing the sensitization potential of metals would comprise valuable tools to support risk management within e.g., occupational settings during production of new metal salts or within the medical device industry to evaluate leachables from metal alloys.

This paper describes a systematic evaluation of the applicability domain of the GARD™skin assay for assessment of metals. Hazard classifications were supplemented with an extended analysis of gene expression profiles induced by metal sensitizers to compare the induction of toxicity pathways between metals and organic sensitizers. Based on the results of this study, the accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of GARD™skin for prediction of skin sensitizing hazard were 92% (12/13), 100% (7/7) and 83% (5/6), respectively.

Thus, the performance of GARD™skin for assessment of metals was found to be similar to what is observed on conventional organic substances, providing support for inclusion of metals within the applicability domain of the test method.

Keywords

skin sensitization, metals, regulatory testing, medical devices

Full article on line with open access

The GARDskin Assay: Investigation of the Applicability Domain of Indirectly Acting Haptens

Presented at the 2022 SOT

Tim Lindberg1, Andy Forreryd1, Robin Gradin1 and Henrik Johansson1
1SenzaGen, Lund, Sweden

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Conclusion

  • The GARD®skin assay can accurately predict indirectly acting haptens and has the capacity to assess both pre- and pro-haptens as skin sensitizers.
  • No increased risk of false negative classifications due to possible limitations in metabolic capacity of the cell system.

Abstract

Hypersensitivity reactions in the skin, clinically manifested as Allergic Contact Dermatitits (ACD), are caused by the ensuing immunological response to low-molecular weight compounds termed skin sensitizers. Such substances, often referred to as haptens, have the inherent property to react with skin proteins and form immune inducing complexes. However, indirectly acting haptens need to be transformed to protein-reactive intermediates either through biotic (pro-hapten) or abiotic (pre-hapten) conversion in order to elicit an immune response.

Conventionally, safety tests of skin sensitizers have been done using animal experiments, but New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) have been developed over the past decades to replace the use of animals in such testing. However, one potential problem faced with the in vitro and in chemico alternatives is the lack of metabolic and chemical activity as compared to an in vivo system, which in turn may lead to false predictions for pre- and pro-haptens.

The GARDskin assay is a next-generation NAM for hazard classification of skin sensitizers. The assay is based on a human dendritic -like cell line and combines genomics and machine learning to achieve a high predictive performance with a large applicability domain. Currently, the method is approaching regulatory acceptance as an OECD test guideline.

The study presented here aimed to explore the applicability domain of the GARDskin assay, specifically the capability to predict indirectly acting haptens. Available data obtained from GARDskin testing of indirectly acting haptens were compiled, resulting in a set of 28 substances. Further subcategorization identified 5 pro-haptens and 11 pre-haptens, while 12 substances were unable to be unambiguously assigned as either exclusively a pro- or a pre-hapten, due to the dual nature of the protein-reactive activity. Skin sensitizing hazard sensitivity of indirectly acting haptens (n=28) was 89% (25/28) while pro-haptens (n=5) and pre-haptens (n=11) were 80% and 100%, respectively. These data support GARDskin applicability in the domain of indirectly acting haptens, demonstrating that the method has the capacity to accurately assess both pre- and pro-haptens.

Exploration of the GARDskin applicability domain: Indirectly acting haptens, hydrophobic substances and UVCBs

Joint publication with the Lubrizol Corporation

ALTEX – Alternatives to animal experimentation, published April 21, 2022, accepted manuscript, https://doi.org/10.14573/altex.2201281

Forreryd, A., Gradin, R., Humfrey, C., Sweet, L. and Johansson, H.

Abstract

Hazard assessments of skin sensitizers are increasingly being performed using new approach methodologies (NAMs), with several in chemico, in vitro and most recently also defined approaches (DAs) being accepted for regulatory use. However, keeping track of potential limitations of each method in order to define applicability domains remains a crucial component to ensure adequate predictivity as well as facilitating the appropriate selection of method(s) for each hazard assessment task. The objective of this report is to share test results generated with the GARD™skin assay on chemicals that have traditionally been considered as difficult to test in some of the conventional in vitro and in chemico OECD Test Guidelines for skin sensitization. Such compounds may include, for example, indirectly acting haptens, hydrophobic substances, and substances of unknown variable composition or biological substances (UVCBs). Based on the results of this study, the sensitivity for prediction of skin sensitizing hazard of indirectly acting haptenswas92.4%and 87.5%, when compared with LLNA(n=25)and human data(n=8), respectively. Similarly, the sensitivity for prediction of skin sensitizing hazard of hydrophobic substances was 85.1% and 100%, when compared with LLNA(n=24)and human data(n=9), respectively. Lastly, a case study involving the assessment of a set of hydrophobic UVCBs(n=7) resulted in a sensitivity of 100, as compared to available reference data. Thus, it was concluded that these data provide support for the inclusion of such chemistries in the GARD™skin applicability domain, without an increased risk of false negative classifications.

Key words: GARD, GARDskin, skin sensitization, applicability domain, difficult to test substances, Indirectly acting haptens, hydrophobic substances, UVCBs

 

Full article
Article on line with open access

Applicability domain of the GARD™skin Medical Device test for in vitro skin sensitization testing of medical devices

Poster presented at SOT 2021

Joshua Schmidt, Ron Brown and Rose-Marie Jenvert
SenzaGen Inc., Raleigh, NC, USA, Risk Science Consortium LLC, Arnold, MD, USA, SenzaGen AB, Lund, Sweden.

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Conclusion

  • The chemical space of compounds tested in GARD closely approximates the chemical space of compounds known to be released from medical device materials.
  • GARDskin is able to predict the skin sensitization potential of compounds released from medical device materials with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity, including: metals, lipophilic compounds and pre/pro haptens.

Abstract

Medical device toxicology is undergoing an exciting evolution; transitioning from a process that largely relied on the results of animal testing to evaluate the biological safety of devices in patients to one which is increasingly focused on the use of in vitro methods for the safety assessment of device materials.

Recently, in vitro methods to assess endpoints such as skin irritation and pyrogenicity have been validated and proposed for medical device testing, but a method to assess the potential for device-related skin sensitization to occur has not been sufficiently qualified. A number of in vitro skin sensitization test methods have been shown to have acceptable predictive ability for known skin sensitizers with structures that span a broad range of chemical classes, but the predictive ability of these methods has not been specifically evaluated using compounds typically found in materials used to manufacture medical devices. As a result, the need exists to qualify in vitro methods to assess the skin sensitization of compounds that may be released from medical devices, taking into account the applicability domain of known or potential skin sensitizers, including metals.

To address this challenge, the predictive ability of the GARD assay has been evaluated using a dataset of compounds known to be released from device materials.  Against these data, the assay correctly predicted 19 out of 21 lipophilic and pre-/pro-hapten compounds (90.5% accuracy), with one false positive (95.2% sensitivity) and one false negative (95.2% specificity) being predicted, thus increasing the confidence in use of this in vitro assay to assess the skin sensitization potential of medical devices.  Furthermore, we have also demonstrated that the GARD assay correctly predicts the skin sensitization response of nickel and cobalt salts (sensitizers) and a zinc salt (non-sensitizer). Overall, our data support the use of the GARDskin Medical Device assay as an in vitro alternative for the in vivo methods (e.g., GPMT, LLNA) that are typically used to assess skin sensitization as part of the biological safety assessment of medical devices.

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