> We applaud plans for a new European database of non-animal testing methods
We applaud plans for a new European database of non-animal testing methods
But more must be done to ensure enforcement of their use
Posted By Stephanie on 7th December 2021
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A new pilot project to create the EU’s first artificial intelligence database of non-animal methods has been approved by the European Parliament in its vote on the EU’s budget for 2022.
The database, proposed by cross-party MEPs, Eleonora Evi, Maria Spyraki, Sylwia Spurek, Tilly Metz, Anja Hazekamp, Younous Omarjee and Martin Buschmann, would be open to the scientific community, project evaluators and ethical review committees, among others.
About 10 million animals are used in research and testing across the EU each year and about 190 million worldwide.
In 2017, the European Commission began a series of studies to review available and emerging non-animal models being used for research in seven disease areas: 1) respiratory tract diseases 2) breast cancer 3) immune-oncology 4) immunogenicity of advanced therapeutic medicinal products 5) neurodegenerative disorders, 6) cardiovascular diseases and 7) autoimmunity. This pilot project will build on that work and develop an artificial intelligence (AI) automated database that collects and structures the NAMs in use for biomedical research.
Using AI to analyse published literature should allow the creation and maintenance of an up-to-date, sustainable and state of the art knowledge source.
One of the proposers of the project, Green MEP Eleonora Evi, said: “By understanding and sharing information on successful NAMs in biomedical research, it is expected that the transition of the scientific community towards human biology-based methodologies will be encouraged, facilitated and potentially accelerated. In fact, the use of human biology-based models and methods is vital to improve the relevance of biomedical research, to enhance the likelihood that results will translate to patients and to accelerate the transfer of research results into clinical and public health practice.”
Our Director of Science and Regulatory Affairs, Dr Katy Taylor, said: “This is a welcome initiative and we’re glad to see the commitment from the European Parliament following its overwhelming support for actions to accelerate the transition to animal-free science earlier this year. Creating a database is, however, just one step. It is critical that regulators across Europe enforce the use of non-animal methods and that funding for non-animal methods is prioritised. Our RAT List shows that animal tests for which there are validated non-animal tests available are still happening in Europe. These tests must be stopped now.”
If you are an EU citizen, we need you to help us end the suffering of millions of animals used in experiments each year in the European Union. Our European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) calls upon the European Commission to put forward a concrete plan to transition to non-animal science. Help us end animal testing by signing the ECI