Advancing inhalation toxicology capabilities to support chemical testing

15 March 2022

Respiratory exposure to chemicals or agrochemicals poses potential risk to human health, especially to workers handling these products. Whether preparing a solution, dusting or spraying crops, or cleaning equipment, opportunities for inadvertent inhalation is a risk that can potentially lead to toxic effects, both acute and chronic. That’s why identifying potential risk posed by respiratory exposure to a chemical or agrochemical is a mandatory component of toxicology studies in regulatory submissions for new registrations and, often, for re-registrations. In addition to the requirement, inhalation studies themselves are complex and challenging, as delivery of test articles via the inhalation route requires careful attention to substance aerosolization and particle size as well as constant control and monitoring over a prolonged time.

At Labcorp, we understand those complexities and the importance of these studies. We also recognize the trend toward increased chemical manufacture and production, changing the tonnage bands for the study types that are required for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). All of these factors led to a recent investment of over $10 million to expand inhalation toxicology study options at our Huntingdon, U.K., site.

Our state-of-the-art facility now staffs a team of 40 inhalation specialists and features a modular buildout of six new dedicated inhalation testing rooms. What’s the benefit of a modular buildout? “A concrete building would have required 12 to 18 months to construct. The commission of the innovative modular building enabled us to be up and fully functional in less than nine months. It was the right decision to help our clients ensure the health and safety of people around the world,” explains Simon Moore, global lead of inhalation sciences and engineering.

In addition to an expedited rollout, the expanded lab space helps ensure we have additional capacity and flexibility to schedule an increased number of your inhalation safety studies. You can also find full-service support—from early efficacy through regulation compliance. “Because of the greater infrastructure, our ability to support client programs has increased considerably. We delivered in six months what we typically do in a full year,” illustrates Moore.

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Another area of focus for the investment was aerosolization, which is a difficult scientific process that requires a cutting-edge lab space implemented by highly skilled specialists to help ensure success. “Bringing together the deep scientific knowledge, specialized technology and the whole infrastructure was essential to ensuring an innovative and cohesive experience in a very complex development space,” states Moore.

Assessing the risk of chemicals or agrochemicals when inhaled is a highly intricate undertaking. With this investment in expanded inhalation capabilities, clients can now get a cutting-edge and a comprehensive study experience to more easily help ensure product success.

To learn more about our inhalation toxicology solutions, contact us today.