Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
Researchers at the University of East Anglia are launching a new project to develop methods which could one-day decrease the use of rats and mice in pharmaceutical testing.
Researchers will use mammallian cells, early frog embryos and computer modelling in a bid to create a new way of predicting drug toxicity. It is hoped that this new model would reduce the need for animal testing in medical research.
The project today received £90,000 from the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) as part of a £1.26 million funding round.
The development of a non-mammalian, pre-clinical screening tool for predictive analysis of drug safety will be carried out as a collaborative project between Dr Grant Wheeler from UEA's School of Biological Sciences and Dr Vicky Sherwood from UEA's School of Pharmacy as well as Dr Dominic Williams at the University of Liverpool.
Dr Grant Wheeler will oversee the project. He said: "Drug toxicity is an important concern in the development of pharmaceuticals that are effective and safe for use in patients. Currently this requires the use of a large number of animals to ensure that new drugs are non-toxic and therefore safe to use in human clinical trials.
"According to the Home Office almost 80,000 rats and mice were used in studies on drug testing in 2012 alone. This is a huge number of animals, so any new protocols that can reduce this burden on animal testing could have a huge impact in significantly reducing the number of animals used for drug safety testing each year.
"We aim to develop such a protocol using a combination of mammalian cell lines, early frog embryos and computer modelling to predict toxicity.
"We will then check how well our protocol can predict toxicity in small rodents by comparing our results with those already documented in rats and mice.
"If the correlation of results is good, our protocol could be used to assess toxicity of new potential drugs in the early stages of testing to provide an understanding of an acceptable level of risk for continuation in the development of a particular drug."
Dr Vicky Robinson, chief executive of the NC3Rs, said: "Changing how researchers approach the design of an experiment by embedding greater awareness and uptake of alternative approaches and technologies is a key aim of the NC3Rs. Supporting the training of scientists at the very start of their research careers to develop and adopt new approaches is critical for sustained progress in the 3Rs. The outputs of our studentship scheme are already having an impact on the use of animals in areas like neuroscience and the study of liver disease."
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Pharma Industry / Biotech Industry category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
University of East Anglia. "UEA researchers receive share of £1.26 million to reduce animal experimentation for drug development." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 9 Dec. 2013. Web.
11 Mar. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/269810>
University of East Anglia. (2013, December 9). "UEA researchers receive share of £1.26 million to reduce animal experimentation for drug development." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/269810.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2014 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.