Devised in 1944 by FDA toxicologist John Draize, the Draize eye irritation test was developed as an acute toxicology test for cosmetic compounds. An extremely invasive procedure, it involves the application of 0.5ml or 0.5g of a test substance to the eye of a conscious, restrained animal – commonly albino rabbits. Before 1989, no alternative to the test had been attempted. The FRAME Alternatives Laboratory, along with ten other industrial and academic laboratories initiated a study to develop replacement test for the Draize. They identified 4 tests, including the HET-CAM test, that produced comparable results to the Draize test without the need for invasive and pain testing on animal models. These preliminary studies would lead to further efforts focused on replacing the Draize test.
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