<P>&nbsp;</P> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P align=justify><STRONG><A style="COLOR: #e02020" title="" href="http://www.episkin.fr/" target=_blank>Episkin</A></STRONG><STRONG>, a Lyon subsidiary of <A style="COLOR: #e02020" title="" href="http://www.loreal.fr/_fr/_fr/index.aspx" target=_blank>L&#8217;Or&#233;al</A>, has developed a technique for producing skin in vitro.</STRONG> Using strips of skin that come from breast reduction surgery, <STRONG>the laboratory makes the skin grow in vitro through the multiplication of cells</STRONG>. While the skin can be recreated as often as necessary, it takes time: 1sq.cm of skin grows in 23 days. &#8220;This isn&#8217;t mass production. This is high fashion,&#8221; explains Estelle Tinois-Tessonneaud, Director of the high-tech site.<STRONG> &#8220;Based on what the needs are, we can recreate all types of skin:</STRONG> young, old, coloured&#8230;&#8221; she adds. About 40% of the skin tissues produced are sold to the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries as well as to research teams. The rest is kept and used internally.</P> <P align=justify>&nbsp;</P> <H2>BIOTECHNOLOGIES&nbsp;IN LYON: A SECTOR&nbsp;OF EXCELLENCE</H2> <P>&nbsp;</P> <P align=justify><STRONG>The Episkin center is located in the <A style="COLOR: #e02020" title="" href="https://www.aderly.com/centre-recherche-et/developpement-france,p,21,EN.jsp" target=_blank>biopole in the Gerland district of Lyon</A>, epicenter of the world competitiveness cluster for <A style="COLOR: #e02020" title="" href="https://www.aderly.com/Infectiologie/index,p,157,EN.jsp" target=_blank>infectious diseases</A>, <A style="COLOR: #e02020" title="" href="https://www.aderly.com/lyon-biopole-pole-centre-recherche-scientifique/index,p,98,EN.jsp" target=_blank>Lyonbiopole</A>.</STRONG> The site employs 55 people and since last year has been a <STRONG>test center for new products from the cosmetic group L&#8217;Or&#233;al</STRONG>, a first in the beauty industry. New products are analysed in detail on reconstituted skin samples before being launched on the market. &#8220;We can demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of the products in terms of skin irritation and phototoxicity,&#8221; explains Estelle Tinois-Tessonneaud. <STRONG>Using skin strips replaces animal testing which will become officially prohibited in March 2013</STRONG> when a new European directive comes into force. <STRONG>Episkin plans to develop in vitro testing methods where currently no alternative to animal testing exists</STRONG> (like allergies, for example).<BR><BR></P>