upcyte technologies actively contributes to the 3R concept through (I) replacement of animal assays with highly predictive in vitro cytotoxicity & genotoxicity assays and (II) the continuous formulation of cell culture media which is animal component-free.
Our toxicity assays are all specifically human cell-based and we actively avoid the use of animal cells. By using our metabolically competent upcyte® cells for the detection of the genotoxic potential of test compounds, we negate the need for rat liver S9. In doing so, we are essentially replacing animal products. The high predictivity of our toxicity assays helps to reduce subsequent animal studies, since compounds failing initial in vitro assays will not be followed up in vivo studies, thus saving thousands of lives of animals used in toxicology studies.
The use of undefined animal derived media components, mainly fetal calf serum (FCS), in a multitude of current cell culture media is inevitably connected to the sacrifice of calf embryos. It is calculated that 500.000 liters of FCS are produced each year for this purpose, which correlates to one million bovine fetuses. These values are approximations and the actual numbers might even be double. From a scientific point of view, the use of FCS should be avoided for several reasons, i.e. serum can act as a source of viral contaminants, it still contains unknown components whose influence on cell culture remain unclear; and FCS can also repress cellular characteristics such as cell spreading or cell attachment. With its research activities on cell culture media, upcyte technologies is supporting meaningful science and actively helps to reduce the use of animals by replacing animal-derived components and the development of chemically defined cell culture media for the benefit of both humans and animals.