Big tobacco embraces in vitro toxicology



Toxicology tests that rely on human cells and tissues instead of animals are rapidly evolving, driven by widespread interest in reducing the cost and stigma associated with animal testing and the desire to test large numbers of chemicals rapidly. Now, tobacco firms are joining pharmaceutical, pesticide, and chemical manufacturers in investing heavily in the technology.

Big tobacco is making more appearances at scientific conferences focused on nonanimal toxicology testing. Representatives from tobacco giants—British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco, Philip Morris International, and Reynolds American—participated in the annual meetingof the American Society for Cellular & Computational Toxicology (ASCCT) in September.

Their ultimate goal: to convince officials at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) that in vitro methods for predicting respiratory toxicology in humans are ready for prime time.

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