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http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-...,3431943.story

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The makers of Botox have been celebrating and no, it's not because they found a better way to smooth wrinkles.

The company, Allergan Inc. of Irvine, announced in June that the Food and Drug Administration approved its new method to test Botox's potency. Instead of having to test every batch on live animals, it can now run a test on cells in a lab dish.

\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t It took 10 years for Allergan scientists to perfect the new test. If it's approved in all the countries where Botox is sold, Allergan expects to eliminate the need for at least 95% of its animal testing within three years.

"Our hat is off to the company," says Martin Stephens, vice president for animal research issues at the Humane Society of the United States in Washington, D.C.

The government says that every new compound people might be exposed to whether it's the latest wonder drug, lipstick shade, pesticide or food dye must be tested to make sure it isn't toxic. Usually, this requires animals. Allergan's new test is one of several under development, or already in use, that could change that.

U.S. agencies have already approved alternative tests to replace many experiments on animals' eyes and skin. Scientists are now developing tests for toxins that cause organ damage, birth defects, and other problems. These new tests could make animal toxicity experiments obsolete in the next 10 to 20 years, says David Jacobson-Kram, associate director for pharmacology and toxicology at the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in Silver Spring, Md.
 
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