09 Feb Animal Testing No Longer Required!
For many years, animals are used in research for new drugs. However, “lab rat” may be a term that future generations will not be familiar with in the future. Earlier this year, a long list of people and animal-friendly organizations celebrated a new law that will finally replace a longstanding FDA mandate.
Shifting towards animal-free research
Until recently, animals were used to test a new drug. Only then, after testing these drugs on animals, will the US health authority FDA authorize human trials. However, in late December 2022, President Joe Biden signed an amendment law that lifts requirements to test new or developing drugs on animals before conducting human trials.
The amendment law, officially known as the FDA Modernization Act 2.0, allows animal-free alternatives, including human organoid models and organ-on-chip, to be used for the development of medicines and biological products for humans.
“This is a nice and big step” said our coordinator Katja Wolthers about the amendment law in an interview for de Volkskrant. “With organoids, we can test drug toxicity and see which products are promising – without animal testing” she added.
Organ-on-chip: The animal-free alternative
Change will not be simple nor will it be easy. A world where animal testing is fully replaced will take time. This is why our consortium is dedicated to developing a multi-organ system that will simulate the human body; organ-on-chip.
By combining experts in the fields of organ-on-chip technology, organoids, bioengineering, virology, immunology and cell culturing, we will develop an animal-free alternative that will accurately mimic human organs and organ systems. By doing so, we will fast track the process of drug development while minimizing costs, reducing disease burden and save lives.
Shifting the perspective towards animal-free innovation, especially when the mandate to test on animals has been implemented for many years, may be challenging. However, with the new amendment law and organ-on-chip technology, the future of animal-free testing may be closer than we think.
Click here to read the full interview (in Dutch):