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September 9, 2013

Testing Without Animals a Step Closer to Reality

The HSUS and HSI applaud FDA and industry collaboration on cardiac drugs, urge similar initiatives worldwide

Humane Society International

  • We're working to end animal testing forever. Tetra Images/Alamy

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and pharmaceutical industry have proposed a new initiative to improve the safety of medicines and move away from animal testing. The new, entirely non-animal testing strategy proposed for detecting drugs that are toxic to the heart represents a dramatic change from current approaches involving measurement of heart rate and physiology in animals.

The proposal by the FDA, the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute and the Cardiac Safety Research Consortium combines a computer-based model and tests on isolated human heart muscle cells. It recommends accelerated development and evaluation of these “21st century technologies” with a goal of being ready for use in two years.

“This is a truly exciting initiative, which confirms that the extensive international work by The Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International and other organizations in moving away from animal testing in chemical safety evaluation will lead to more effective human health outcomes,” said Catherine Willett, PhD, director of regulatory toxicology for The HSUS.

Facts:

  • The FDA/HESI/CSRC proposal includes the following recommendations (Nature Rev. Drug Discov. 12, 565–567; 2013):
    • the use of two non-animal approaches: computer modeling and human cell-based assays,
    • a goal of being ready for use in two years,
    • the ability of these methods to fully replace the animal tests will depend on the scientific evaluation of the new methods.
  • The HSUS, HSI and the Human Toxicology Project Consortium support development and use of non-animal methods in testing and research internationally through lobbying and direct funding, coordination of scientific meetings and workshops, and through educational and scientific presentations and publications.

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Media contact: Niki Ianni: 610-999-6932, nianni@humanesociety.org

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We're there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty—on the Web at humanesociety.org.

Humane Society International and its partner organizations together constitute one of the world’s largest animal protection organizations. For more than 20 years, HSI has been working for the protection of all animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty worldwide—on the Web at hsi.org.

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