At the end of August, almost 1000 people attended the ‘Fifth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences’ in Berlin, the majority of whom were scientists. Many of the delegates have worked for years to develop scientific methods that can exceed the stringent ‘validation criteria’ set for them, in the hope that they will be accepted and used in preference to the animal tests that could never reach the same standards – and indeed have never been required to do so. The scientists presented evidence of amazing developments and progress that promise to revolutionise our approach to the testing of drugs and chemicals, and the use of animals in medical research. Examples include computer programmes that can predict the toxicity of drugs and chemicals with unprecedented accuracy; the use of human stem cells to assess the hazards posed by these substances; new models of the skin to test for harmful absorption and corrosion properties; enhanced use of ‘genomic’ technologies to screen drugs and to elucidate the causes of human disease.
The presentation of a study invalidating animal-based testing of potential human carcinogens, co-authored by our Science Director Dr Jarrod Bailey, won one of only two conference prizes for its scientific merit, beating off competition from 350 others. Dr Bailey was also invited to present his study on the futility of animal testing for substances that can cause birth defects, which was very well received.
World Patient Safety Day is grounded in the most fundamental principle of medicine – first do no harm “Medication Safety” is the theme for World Patient Safety Day 2022. Safer Medicines Trust is a patient safety charity whose mission is to improve the safety of medicines, so we very much support calls for “Medication Without Harm”. The World […]The crisis of Alzheimer’s disease research: it’s time to embrace a new approach to help patients
The problem Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a leading cause of death in the UK and along with other dementias, is responsible for almost 11% of all deaths in England.1 More than 209,000 new cases are diagnosed each year across the UK.2 It remains a leading cause of death and disability worldwide3, affecting nearly 50 million […]