Number of animals involved in experiments could be reduced
The number of animals used in clinical research could be reduced in a new study, which will be welcomed by welfare supporters. The FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) has just put forward a proposal that would allow animal drug developers to carry out their research without using dogs. The single study may result in the replacement of dogs with informatics tools.
Although it’s linked to the development of drugs for animals, this study is part of efforts to reduce reliance on the use of animals used for all kinds of research activities. The aim of the study is to rubber stamp a non-animal approach on the comparisons of blood levels of medication taken orally.
Currently, when testing these anti-parasitic canine drugs, the dogs which participate are initially infected with parasites and then euthanized after the clinical trial is completed. However, if this new approach is trialled and is successful, this research will lead to a drop in the number of animals used in the drug development process. It proposes that the dogs involved in these clinical trials could be adopted on completion of the trial, instead of being euthanized. They will only be forced to undergo minimally invasive blood sampling.
The FDA has already established an Animal Welfare Council to govern all research, and it’s in support of alternative means of research such as organs on a chip – which is a 3-D chip that simulates the physiological response of body organs.
Reducing the need for unnecessary animal testing
FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb said whilst they understand the need for animals in research, they are committed to learning about new technologies that could help reduce reliance on the need for animal testing.
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According to Euractiv the EU remains ‘fully committed’ to phasing out testing on animals.
Lisa Kramer PhD, who’s the professor of finance at the University of Toronto, said that it was encouraging to see the non-animal model being included in the FDA’s proposal.
The FDA is inviting the public to offer suggestions on this proposal for the next 60 days. The proposed study is then expected to begin.