A couple of months ago we had the privilege to go to Paris and interview Professor Jean-Claude Nouët, Honorary President and cofounder of the Ligue Francaise des Droits de l'Animal, éthique et science (LFDA).
During our two hours discussion, Professor Nouët touched on different aspects of the use of animals in scientific research, including alternatives and the 3Rs. We will be publishing parts of the interview over the coming weeks, however looking at your comments and questions over the past months, we thought the following topic was a good one to start with.
The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) has awarded two grants totalling almost £900,000, to Brunel University’s Professor Robert Newbold and Swansea University’s Professor Gareth Jenkins, funds that are to be implemented in fundamental research to develop new testing methods, based on human-cell structures, for cancer-causing chemicals, a move that aims to reduce the number of animals used in tests in the years ahead.
Unnecessary animal tests are replaced by alternative testing methods at Danish pharmaceutical company
It has taken ten years for a dedicated company task force to get rid of all redundant product control tests in living animals or to replace them with other methods of testing. Working in close collaboration with regulatory authorities around the world, the task force has replaced all obsolete tests at Novo Nordisk using live animals. The alternative testing method, the use of animal cells rather than living animals, had first to prove its efficacy before being approved by regulators.
Human skin grown in a lab, computer simulations, and new approaches to vaccine quality control. These are just some of the new ideas which experts say could reduce the number of animals used in developing, approving and producing medicines.
What if I told you that these technologies already exist and the trick now is to pull them together, apply them and have them accepted by authorities? Well, it’s true.
It won’t be long now until the annual European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA) conference which takes place on 9 November here in Brussels.
The EPAA is an independent platform which brings together the European Commission and industry groups to collaborate on implementing the 3 Rs Declaration. It has been running since 2005 and has done a lot to bring together people who don’t talk as much as they should – like companies and regulators, or scientists and EU officials.