This morning in the European Parliament, Keith hosted the launch of Biomed21, an initiative led by Humane Society International (HSI) to explore the alternatives to testing on animals in medical research.
For nearly a century, the safety and effectiveness of potential new drugs has been assessed by laboratory tests involving rodents, rabbits, dogs and other animals.
Participants heard however that, aside from the ethical issues they pose, animal tests are time and resource intensive, restrictive in the number of substances that can be tested, provide little understanding of how medicines behave in the body, and in many cases do not correctly predict real world human reactions.
Researchers were on hand to explain innovative new non-animal methods for a range of disease areas including Alzheimer’s, autism and liver disease.
Keith said “The Humane Society International’s solutions-based approach is something I wholeheartedly support. They have demonstrated that we can address pressing health research challenges without animal experiments”.
Emily McIvor, HSI’s Policy Director on Research and Toxicology said “Today’s biomedical research tools have game-changing potential, but to fully exploit this potential we need to change our thinking, and move on from an outdated research paradigm based on animal experiments”.