An open letter to:
International Council on Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH)
The International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities
European Medicines Agency
European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Healthcare
European Union Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM)
Department of Health and Social Care
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
We are calling for a change of mindset and a clear timetable for regulatory change to enable accelerated development of medicines which are likely to be safer, more effective and cheaper, without the use of animals. Investment in human relevant science offers a golden opportunity to revitalise medical research, save money, create wealth and improve public health.
We find ourselves in a time of global health emergency, one that will challenge our healthcare, social fabric and economy for years to come. Hard choices today have been borne out of great and immediate need. Yet there are patterns emerging in the scientific response that will have far reaching consequences for how we progress medical science in the future.
Hosted by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, in conjunction with US Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, our Pharmaceutical Director, Dr Gerry Kenna, recently spoke on why “Human-relevant models are needed to understand and treat human COVID-19 disease” at PCRM’s Congressional hearing “Confronting COVID-19: A Briefing on Prioritizing Human-Based Research”. A recording of the event is here and Dr Kenna’s slides are here.
by Kathy Archibald, Chair, Safer Medicines Trust
Coronavirus: we’ve never had a better opportunity to harness the power of human relevant approaches
Unprecedented research efforts are underway across the world to combat the covid-19 pandemic. Much of this work involves testing potential treatments or vaccines in various animal species, both for safety and effectiveness. What is the likelihood that these animal studies will help us to find a vaccine or treatment within the ambitious timescale of 12 to 18 months?
On November 6 2019, Merel Ritskes-Hoitinga, Professor of Evidence-Based Laboratory Animal Science at SYRCLE (Systematic Review Center for Laboratory (animal) Experimentation www.syrcle.nl) in the Netherlands, was appointed Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau, a civil and military Dutch order of chivalry open to “everyone who has earned special merits for society”. This honour, bestowed upon Professor Ritskes-Hoitinga following her inspirational inaugural lecture at the University (transcript here), comes after 30 years of improving the quality of animal research in the Netherlands and elsewhere, and dedicating herself to developing systematic review* methodology in the field of preclinical research.