Drug safety, crop protection and animal testing alternatives mulled at SOT

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Animal testing alternatives discussed by Huntingdon
Animal testing alternatives discussed by Huntingdon

Related tags People for the ethical treatment of animals Us

Employee safety is a focus for drugmakers and a growing market for the preclinical testing services sector according to Huntingdon Life Sciences.

The UK contract research organisation (CRO) made the comments at the Society of Toxicology (SOT) annual meeting in San Diego, US last week, telling us developments in invitro ​testing and strategies for exposure and risk assessment as areas of activity.

Those topics are important to our customer base and our scientists are participating in several sessions as part of our ongoing efforts to share insights and stay abreast of the latest advances in science and technology impacting developmental research.”

Huntingdon – which is due to rebrand​ this year to mark the integration of recent acquisition Harlan Life Sciences – also presented at SOT on topics ranging from drug safety assessment to testing of chemicals and crop protection agents.

Here comes the science

A Huntingdon spokesman added “we are also tapping into some of the hot topics of this meeting, such as the use of in vitro methods in compound development, one of our posters discusses the regulatory drivers of in vitro alternatives for the testing of cosmetics​.”

Regulators worldwide have been working to reduce the cosmetics industry’s use of animals for safety testing for many years.

Europe​, for example, banned the sale of makeup that has been tested on animals in 2013 in a move that prompted the development of in vitro based alternatives​. India follow suit a few months later​.

In drug development animal testing is mandatory.

However, that does not mean alternatives are not being sought according to fellow SOT attendee PETA, which was also at the conference this year to present on efforts to develop in vitro​ replacements.

Amy Clippinger, a scientific advisor for the animal rights group, told us the meeting “gives us a forum to make sure we stay on top of the most cutting edge approaches that some companies are developing to replace, reduce or refine the use of animals in experiments.”

 “We present our own original research and information on the work we do to ensure that these strategies to minimize animal use are approved for use by the appropriate agencies, and also that they are put into use as widely as possible once they’ve been approved​.”

Related topics Preclinical Research Preclinical

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