Update: Companies’ use of animals

Microtiter plate. Source: Wikimedia/ Shinryuu

Microtiter plate. Source: Wikimedia/ Shinryuu

Between January and November 2014, I contacted 117 ASX listed companies in the industry sectors Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences, Health Care Equipment & Services, and Household & Personal Products.

After downloading from the ASX website a list of all companies in these three industry sectors, I excluded those that had been delisted, appeared to be non-operational (e.g. the share price was $0), or provided no email address or web contact on the company’s website. That left 118 companies, of which I contacted 117 (one company states on their website that they use animal testing, and I did not contact this company).

I asked 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-nine (39) companies responded. Of these, 22 advised that they do not – directly or indirectly – use animals as part of their research for the benefit of humans (one of these companies uses non-invasive animal research for the benefit of animals and humans). Three companies indicated a policy of non-disclosure. Some of the others pointed to regulatory requirements for animal research. While, to my knowledge there is no regulatory requirement for animal testing in Australia, companies operate in a global environment. For example, the U.S. FDA requires animal testing for medical products.

Of the companies that still use animal testing, nine indicated that they adhere to the 3Rs and/or that an animal ethics committee overseas the research. The 3Rs refer to replacement (not using animals where possible), reduction (reducing the number of animals used) and refinement (minimising impact).

Nine companies indicated that they invest in the development of alternatives to animal research.

Laboratory glassware. Source: Wikimedia/ Rama

Laboratory glassware. Source: Wikimedia/ Rama

 

Below is a list of the companies that reported no animal testing and/or allocating resources to the development of non-animal methods:

 

 

 

Anteo Diagnostics Limited (ADO) — No animal testing.

Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (API) — No animal testing.

Azure Healthcare Limited (AZV) – No animal testing.

Brain Resource Limited (BRC) – No animal testing.

Cogstate Limited (CGS) – No animal testing. This company allocate funding toward the development and validation of non-animal research methods.

Compumedics Limited (CMP) – No animal testing.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Limited (FPH) — This company allocates funding toward the development and validation of non-animal research methods.

Genera Biosystems Limited (GBI) – No animal testing.

Genetic Technologies Limited (GTG) – No animal testing.

Icsglobal (ICS) — No animal testing.

Impedimed Limited (IPD) — No animal testing.

Innate Immunotherapies Limited (IIL) – This company develops non-animal methods for testing.

LBT Innovations Limited (LBT) – No animal testing.

OBJ Limited (OBJ) – No animal testing. This company allocates resources toward testing models using non-animal biomaterials.

OncoSil Medical Limited (OSL) — No animal testing.

Pental Limited (PTL) – No animal testing.

Phosphagenics Limited (POH) – This company has developed several cell-based non-animal drug screening methods.

Ramsay Health Care Limited (RHC) – No animal testing.

Regeneus Limited (RGS) – This company uses testing on animals that are naturally suffering from the disease. It has “a number of research projects aimed at developing assays that can be used instead of animal research methods”.

Resmed Inc (RMD) — No testing on products, but limited biocompatibility testing on materials.

Resonance Health Limited (RHT) – No animal testing.

Rhinomed Limited (RNO) – No animal testing.

Sonic Healthcare Limited (SHL) – No animal testing.

Suda Ltd (SUD) – This company conducts animal testing, but has “developed a number of in vitro tests that now replace the use of animals in some studies”.

Summerset Group Holdings Limited (SNZ) – No animal testing.

Sun Biomedical Limited (SBN) – No animal testing.

USCOM Limited (UCM) – No animal testing. This company develops non-animal methods.

Virtus Health Limited (VRT) – No animal testing. This company allocates resources toward the development and validation of non-animal research methods.

 

More detail here.

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