Monthly Archives: August 2014

9th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences

Today is the last day of the 9th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences in Prague. No, I’m not there; I’m following the action on Twitter: #wc9 and #wc9prague.

Did you know what a 10-organ-chip looks like?

Ten different organ cultures can be combined for long-term repeated dose substance testing. Fascinating, isn’t it.

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Update: Companies’ use of animals

Macaque. Source: Wikimedia/ Blues Davis Paris

Macaque. Source: Wikimedia/ Blues Davis Paris

I have now contacted 100 pharma/biotech/health care equipment companies. I asked them three questions:

  • Does your company conduct or commission research that involves animals?
  • If so, to what extent does your company adhere to the 3R’s principle (reduction, refinement and replacement)?
  • Does your company allocate any funding toward the development and validation of non-animal research methods?

Thirty companies responded. Of these, 18 advised that they do not use animals for research purposes. One company – Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Limited (FPH) – noted that while they do use animals in their research, they also allocate resources toward the development and validation of non-animal research methods.

These are the 18 companies that told me they do not use animals in their research and product development:

Anteo Diagnostics Limited (ADO)

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (API)

Brain Resource Limited (BRC)

Compumedics Limited (CMP)

Genera Biosystems Limited (GBI)

Genetic Technologies Limited (GTG)

Impedimed Limited (IPD)

LBT Innovations Limited (LBT)

OBJ Limited (OBJ) – This company also allocates resources toward testing models using non-animal biomaterials.

OncoSil Medical Limited (OSL)

Pental Limited (PTL)

Resmed Inc (RMD)

Resonance Health Limited (RHT)

Rhinomed Limited (RNO)

Sonic Healthcare Limited (SHL)

Sun Biomedical Limited (SBN)

USCOM Limited (UCM)

Virtus Health Limited (VRT) — This company also allocates resources toward the development and validation of non-animal research methods.

 

ICR lab mouse. Source: Flickr/ Minyoung Choi

ICR lab mouse. Source: Flickr/ Minyoung Choi

Some of the responses I found very heartening, such as these:

“… at Pental we pride ourselves on sustainable manufacturing practices and as such do not test any of our products on animal. I’ve also confirmed with our Quality Assurance team that we only purchase raw materials from suppliers that guarantee that their materials are not tested on animals.”

“Human skin is unique and as a result, we believe that animal skin is a very poor surrogates for predicating drug delivery processes in humans. OBJ uses no animals or animal derived skins or materials in its Laboratory and does to expect ever to need to.”

Most of the companies that engage in animal testing have pointed out that they are required to do so by regulatory authorities, for example Tissue Therapies Limited (TIS) noted that

TIS “is required by law to conduct pre-clinical testing of VitroGro® ECM prior to any clinical studies. However, where possible, we have looked to cell based testing in order to minimise animal testing for these pre-clinical studies.”

I’d like to extend a big thank you to the companies that have taken the time to respond to my questions.

For further information, here is a list of all companies I contacted and details of the responses received (MS Excel file, 47 KB).