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21 Sep 2018

First biomarker-based chemical allergy test launched

GARDAir is optimised for running on the Nanostring gene expression system.

GARDair removes the need for animal testing and opens a completely new market.

SenzaGen will launch GARDair, the first in vitro test for airway allergies at ESTIV2018, the 20th International Congress on In Vitro Toxicology. Removing the need for animal testing and opening a completely new market, GARDair is based on the company’s proprietary GARD technology platform. Using genetic biomarkers, GARDair tests whether substances and chemicals that are inhaled or come into contact with the lungs are allergenic or not, with high accuracy.

Respiratory allergies or respiratory sensitization, which manifests itself primarily in the form of asthma, is a growing problem. About 8-10% of the Swedish population suffer from asthma and more than 300 million people worldwide are diagnosed with asthma - a figure that is expected to increase in the next few years. There are currently no methods available for testing whether chemicals can contribute to or cause allergic reactions in the respiratory tract.

GARDair makes use of genetic biomarkers which cover the entire immune reaction and are relevant to predicting the risk of hypersensitivity with high accuracy. GARDair is targeted primarily at the chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries where there are a wide range of testing needs from pesticides to fragrances. GARDair will be marketed through SenzaGen's laboratory in Lund and the company's licensing laboratories, which will allow immediate availability in Europe and the US.

Using the same technology platform as the already launched GARDskin, GARDair is supported by the EU's SME program Horizon2020 and has been developed in co-operation with AstraZeneca.

“I have been advising SenzaGen in their preparations for the commercialization of GARDair in my capacity as external and independent Horizon2020 coach. SenzaGen is for me a true EU success story and meets the aims of Horizon2020 by translating an excellent technology platform into a number of excellent products and offerings for the market. It is a true ’High-Tech’ business. They have unique products in growth markets and excellent management. I believe that GARDair will contribute to making SenzaGen a very profitable and successful company,” said Paul Yianni, Horizon2020 coach.

"There is a huge demand for GARDair from customers in the chemicals, pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. The ability to test without using animal models whether substances might cause airway allergies brings major benefits in several ways – not only when it comes to developing better and safer products, but also by offering employees a safe production and working environment. GARDair in combination with GARDskin provides new insights and thereby new opportunities for our customers to actively avoid chemicals with multiple allergenic effects," says Anki Malmborg Hager, CEO of SenzaGen.

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