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Experts endorse alternatives to animal testing
Posted 1 December 2010
A panel of experts from industry, academic institutions and regulatory bodies will this week publish a report saying that the future of safety testing of new drugs and chemical products lies in new technologies that use cell cultures and computer models, rather than living animals.
It has long been argued that animals are poor models for testing drugs due to the vast differences between animals and humans. In fact, the results can be dangerously misleading, as drugs that are shown to be safe in animals may later prove to be harmful in humans, while valuable cures and treatments can be missed if they fail animal tests. Non-animal methods are also more efficient. The report states that testing a single chemical takes up to five years, involves 800 rodents and costs £ 2.5 million, while robotic alternatives could test 350 chemicals in under a week, and for a fraction of the cost. Experts from companies including AstraZeneca, Procter and Gamble, Unilever and L'Oreal are finally endorsing such methods as replacements for using animals.
The new report provides backing for AXLR8, a European Union-funded initiative designed to find and develop alternative methods to animal testing. Read more about AXLR8 on their website.