Cut animal tests to tackle COVID-19
As money is thrown at research into COVID-19, a growing number of animal studies are being carried out using a range of species around the world including the UK, US, the Netherlands and China. Many of these are being undertaken in a bid to find an effective vaccine or treatments for COVID-19.
ADI calls on the World Health Organization, national governments, and scientific community worldwide to prioritize and support research into COVID-19 which uses advanced non-animal scientific methods, relevant to humans. These sophisticated techniques avoid the known issues of species differences which make the translation of animal research data to people unreliable and can delay or prevent the availability of effective treatments.
In a move to accelerate this lengthy process during these unprecedented times, the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA) has advised that the usual animal disease models to test the effectiveness of potential vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus which causes COVID-19) will not be required, before proceeding to human clinical trials.
Although the ICMRA is allowing laboratories developing vaccines to proceed straight to human clinical trials, safety testing on animals will still be required before a potential vaccine can be put on the market. During safety testing animals will typically be force-fed or injected with a substance while restrained, and suffer debilitating, even fatal, side effects.