Animal testing is outmoded because, unlike human biology-based test methods, animals are unreliable predictors of human response, delaying treatments and cures to patients and driving up drug costs.
The FDA Modernization Act 2.0, with proper oversight from Congress and the animal welfare community, will spare millions of animals over time and it will reward tens of millions of people seeking better treatments and life-saving cures.
Congress directed $12.5 million to the FDA for Fiscal Year 2023, including $5 million to launch “a comprehensive strategy for new alternative methods for product testing” dubbed the New Alternatives Methods Program. This new effort is a step forward, the United States should use a larger portion of existing resources for alternatives development. More effective screening methods will allow billions spent on drug development to be used more effectively.
The Center has called on the FDA to set a “moonshot” goal of ending animal testing for drug development by 2030. Perhaps three-quarters of all animal testing is conducted for drug development, resulting in the use of perhaps more than a million dogs, primates, and other mammals every year.
Harvard’s Wyss Institute announced the development of a human “body-on-a-chip” platform that enables in-vitro prediction of drug behaviors in humans.
Emulate leverages human biology + technology to ignite a new era in human health.
Quris’ AI Cinical Prediction Platform better predicts which drug candidates will safely work in humans, avoiding tremendous costs of failed clinical trials.
AxoSim empowers advancements in human neuroscience and accelerates the drug development process through their human-relevant drug discovery platform
The Business Case
The Center noted that FDA, the pharmaceutical sector, and academic institutions involved in research all have pledged to abide by the “3 Rs” when it comes to animal testing — reduction, refinement, and replacement of animal tests. These key stakeholders all must act with urgency to embrace a better, safer, more reliable safety regimen.
There should be a vigorous and methodical approach to eliminating the use of animals in favor of alternative methods over time. The running scandal is the enormous failure rate in drug development, the lack of cures for so many diseases, and the high prices for drugs that keep them out of reach for so many Americans.
Actions to Take
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Visit the Center's microsite for a wealth of information on animal testing
Circular photo credit:
Beagle: Jo-Anne McArthur / Animal Equality / We Animals Media, Capuchin monkey: Jo-Anne McArthur / NEAVS / We Animals Media
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