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Joaquim de Lapuente, Head of the Unit for Experimental Toxicology and Ecotoxicology (Photo: Daniel Portales, Parc Científic de Barcelona).

The UTOX of PCB renews GPL certificatIion and becomes a toxicology reference centre

The Unit of Experimental Toxicology and Ecotoxicology (UTOX) of the Barcelona Science Park (PCB) has renewed the Good Laboratory Practice certification which allows conducting in vitro and in vivo studies on severe and chronic toxicity, mutagenicity tests, and ecotoxicological studies on human and veterinary drugs, health and cosmetic devices.


The UTOX -created in 2002 as part of the PCB- collaborates in numerous projects of public and private research in the pharmaceutical, food, cosmetic, chemical, veterinary, medical equipment and environmental management fields, and in turn, supports companies to develop new products through the transfer of technology. Taking into account the extremely horizontal nature of toxicology, the expertise and technological offer lines of the unit encompass from classic in vivo experimental studies to nanotoxicology.

“With the renovation and expansion of this certification, UTOX becomes one of the centers with GLP certification offering a wider range of technological services in preclinical toxicology for the industry at national and international level. This milestone is the result of the efforts made by the entire team of the UTOX over the past 13 years and involves recognition by the competent authorities as a consolidated center with the knowledge and maturity to carry out almost every type of study in drug toxicology and ecotoxicology (human and veterinary), cosmetics and medical devices” says toxicologist Joaquim de Lapuente, director of the unit.

The UTOX and the Toxicology Unit of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the UB form the Centre for Research in Toxicology (CERETOX), included in the network TECNIO, fostered by the Government of Catalonia. It is also a member of the Centre for Innovation and Advanced Technologies of the University of Barcelona (CITA-UB), a project promoted by the University of Barcelona and the Bosch i Gimpera Foundation (FBG).

In 2011, the EUTOX became the first research center to conduct ecotoxicological trials in the Spanish State and was included in the program of compliance with quality standards of Good Laboratory Practice principles established at international level by member countries of the OECD. These studies are necessary in order to register and / or authorize medicines (for human or veterinary consumption), cosmetics and medical devices.

According to the director of the UTOX, “at present most laboratories with GLP certification in toxicology offering their services to the industry are located in Europe, the United States and in emerging countries like India. In this eminently global framework, one of our goals is the internationalization of our services. This quality recognition opens the door to work with large companies around the world in multiple sectors (pharmaceutical, cosmetic, veterinary, health technology, etc.) to support the development of its products, both in short-term trials as well as long-term trials and mutagenicity, reproductive toxicology and in vitro trials “.

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