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Capability update 2023

May 10, 2023

Alcyomics, our capabilities

Over the past few years, Alcyomics has undergone significant changes and growth, establishing itself as a leader in the field of preclinical safety testing for immunotoxicity and toxicity. With a focus on innovation and scientific excellence, Alcyomics has expanded its capabilities and expertise, offering a wide range of customized solutions to meet the evolving needs of the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Through strategic partnerships and investments in cutting-edge technologies, Alcyomics is poised to continue driving advancements in medical research and improving patient outcomes for years to come.

Animal testing has been a controversial topic for a long time, with many people questioning its ethics and effectiveness. Although animal testing has led to important scientific discoveries and advancements in medicine, it has also been criticized for causing harm and suffering to animals. Fortunately, the medical community is starting to make strides towards the reduction of animal usage in pre-clinical research through the use of non-animal alternatives such as in vitro tests, computer models, and human cell-based models. These alternatives are not only more humane, but also more accurate and reliable than animal testing.

What are the advantages of using human bloods and tissues as the basis of your immunotoxicity assessment?

Using human tissues for testing new therapies and medical devices has several advantages, and blood samples in particular are valuable for understanding the mechanistic action of these interventions. One key benefit is the complexity of human tissues, which closely mimics the intricate physiological processes of the human body. This makes it possible to study how therapies and devices interact with the body in a way that is more relevant to the actual human response.

Another advantage of using human blood samples is their relatability to the human response. Blood samples contain the entire range of naturally occurring blood cells, which play critical roles in the body’s immune response, clotting mechanisms, and oxygen transport. Studying these cells in a laboratory setting can provide valuable insights into how new therapies and devices affect the body’s natural processes and can help researchers to better understand their safety and efficacy.

At Alcyomics, we specialize in using human skin and blood samples for safety testing of new drugs and medical devices. Our blood samples are carefully collected and processed to preserve their natural composition, allowing for accurate and reliable testing of the effects of new interventions. By using human blood samples, we can provide our clients with a more accurate and reliable assessment of the safety and efficacy of their products, ultimately improving patient outcomes and advancing medical research.

Cell types in whole bloods

White blood cells, also known as leukocytes, are the main cells in the blood that are important for the body’s defense against pathogens (disease-causing microorganisms). There are several types of white blood cells, each with their own specific function in the immune system:

  • Neutrophils: These are the most abundant type of white blood cell and are often the first responders to an infection. They can engulf and destroy bacteria and other pathogens.
  • Lymphocytes: These cells are responsible for recognizing and attacking specific pathogens. There are two main types of lymphocytes: B cells, which produce antibodies that can neutralize pathogens, and T cells, which can directly attack infected cells.
  • Monocytes: These are large white blood cells that can engulf and destroy pathogens. They can also signal other immune cells to help fight the infection.
  • Eosinophils: These cells are involved in the body’s response to parasitic infections and allergies.
  • Basophils: These cells release histamine, which is involved in the body’s inflammatory response.

To detect immunotoxicity, we use a range of specialized assays that evaluate different aspects of the immune response from whole blood cells. One of the key assays used is the lymphocyte transformation test (LTT), which measures the proliferation of immune cells in response to a stimulus. The LTT can be used to assess the effects of drugs or chemicals on the immune system by measuring changes in the proliferation of T cells and B cells, which are key components of the immune response.

Find more here: T-cell proliferation & Cytokine analysis – Non-artificial human in vitro skin tests | Alcyomics

T-cell proliferation assays are powerful tools to assess T-cell activation in response to compound exposure.

Cytokine release assays (CRA) can also be used to measure the production of cytokines, which are signalling molecules that play a critical role in the immune response. By measuring changes in cytokine production, we can evaluate the effects of drugs or chemicals on the immune system and identify potential immunotoxicity.

At Alcyomics, we have the capability to conduct detailed studies that evaluate the entire range of blood-based lymphocytes, which are key components of the immune response. By analysing the complex interactions between different types of lymphocytes, we can gain valuable insights into the mechanisms underlying immune system function and dysfunction. Our state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and experienced team enable us to conduct comprehensive studies using a range of cutting-edge technologies, including flow cytometry and gene expression profiling. By utilising these advanced techniques, we can identify changes in lymphocyte populations and function, as well as changes in gene expression patterns that may be indicative of immunotoxicity.

Example of cytokine release responses that can be generated to model the human immune system response.

In addition to these white blood cells, there are also other components of the immune system that are found in the blood, such as complement proteins and antibodies. These components work together to identify and neutralize pathogens, protecting the body from infection and disease.

Complement and complement activation assays

Complement activation assays are laboratory tests that are used to measure the activation of the complement system. The complement system is involved in several biological processes, including inflammation, antibody-mediated responses, and the clearance of pathogens. Complement activation assays can be used to measure the activity of the complement system in a biological sample, such as blood, serum, or plasma. There are several different types of complement activation assays, including:

  • Haemolytic assays: These assays measure the ability of the complement system to cause the destruction of red blood cells, which is a key step in the complement activation pathway.
  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs): These assays measure the levels of specific complement proteins or fragments in a biological sample.
  • Flow cytometry assays: These assays use fluorescently labelled antibodies to detect the activation of specific complement proteins on the surface of cells.

Complement activation assays are used in several different areas of research and clinical practice. They can be used to diagnose and monitor complement-mediated diseases, such as autoimmune disorders and complement deficiencies. They can also be used to evaluate the safety and efficacy of drugs and medical devices that may interact with the complement system.

How can we help and what is Skimune®?

Alcyomics offers a range of other innovative testing solutions for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.

Skimune is a specialized assay developed by Alcyomics that is used to evaluate the effects of drugs or chemicals on the immune system. Specifically, Skimune is a skin explant model that enables the evaluation of immunotoxicity in response to topical agents such as cosmetics or topical drugs.

Example of the Skimune grading responses and how we can quantify damage in skin biopsies.

The Skimune assay involves the use of skin samples obtained from human donors, which are then exposed to the test substance in vitro. The assay measures changes in immune cell infiltration and activation in the skin, as well as changes in gene expression patterns, which can provide valuable insights into the potential immunotoxicity of the test substance. We can characterise the severity of the immune response on direct tissue damage. This is a powerful and unique tool which can give critical insight into how damage is occurring and likely clinical outcomes.

Find more here: Skimune® – Sensitisation & Immunotoxicity – Non-artificial human in vitro skin tests | Alcyomics

Our cutting-edge technologies and experienced team enable us to provide customized solutions for our clients, meeting their unique testing needs and accelerating the development of new therapies and devices. With our state-of-the-art facilities and commitment to scientific excellence, Alcyomics is a trusted partner in the advancement of medical research and the improvement of patient outcomes.

Get in touch: Contact Us – Non-artificial human in vitro skin tests | Alcyomics

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