Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

European Union approves new alternatives to animal testing of drugs and chemicals

23.03.2006
The Scientific Advisory Committee of the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) has approved six new alternative testing methods that will reduce the need for certain drugs and chemicals to be tested on animals.

The new tests use cell cultures rather than animals to establish the toxicity of cancer drugs and identify contaminated drugs. The tests approved today will not only reduce the number of animals needed for testing, but will also increase the accuracy of the tests, thereby making the products concerned safer. The role of ECVAM, which is based at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, is to replace, refine and reduce methods of animal testing for cosmetics, drugs and chemicals. Tests validated by ECVAM must be approved by its Scientific Advisory Committee, composed of representatives of the 25 member states, academia, industry and animal welfare organizations before they can be used in labs across Europe.

One of the tests is designed to assist the dosage of some highly toxic drugs used in chemotherapy for cancer, a disease which causes almost a million deaths in the EU every year. Using bone marrow culture from mice and cord blood cells from humans, a test has been developed that will decrease the risk of a lethal overdose in the first cohort of patients to which they are administered, a risk that cannot be identified during current preclinical testing strategies.

International studies have shown that this new test can provide more accurate predictions than testing on animals, so the new method will not only reduce the number of animals needed, but also increase the safety of patients.

Five of the new tests address the issue of bacteria. Our immune system is designed to guard us against bacteria. However it cannot distinguish between live and dead bacteria, and will react also against dead bacteria or part of them. A drug may be sterilised, but not necessarily free from all traces of bacteria and this can lead to side-effects such as fever, pain and shock. 200,000 rabbits are used every year to test the drugs before they are put on the market. The new method uses human immune cells grown in the laboratory, which can detect bacteria just as the human immune system does. This test will not only reduce the number of animals used in labs, but also the costs of testing. An added bonus is that these new tests are far more effective in finding contaminated drugs than the previous animal tests.

The work of ECVAM is funded from the EU’s Research Framework Programme, with support from Member States, industry and animal welfare organisations. By using advances in scientific knowledge, ECVAM will help to increase patient safety and animal welfare.

A conference in Brussels on 7 November 2005 entitled “Europe goes alternative” saw the adoption of a European Partnership with industry to promote alternative approaches to animal testing.

Berta Duane | alfa
Further information:
http://www.jrc.cec.eu.int

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers target protein that protects bacteria's DNA 'recipes'
21.08.2018 | University of Rochester

nachricht Protein interaction helps Yersinia cause disease
21.08.2018 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Air pollution leads to cardiovascular diseases

21.08.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Researchers target protein that protects bacteria's DNA 'recipes'

21.08.2018 | Life Sciences

A paper battery powered by bacteria

21.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>