India about to open first government centre on alternatives to animal use in biomedical research
In a historic move to advance both human medical progress and move away from reliance on monkeys, dogs and other animals as models of human disease, the Indian Council of Medical Research, under the aegis of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, has announced its plans to establish a new “ICMR Centre of Excellence in Human Pathway-Based Biomedicine and Risk Assessment” in Hyderabad.
ICMR’s announcement comes on the heels of meetings with Humane Society International and People for Animals, which have urged Indian science funding bodies to ramp up their investment in leading technologies such as human organs-on-a-chip and next-generation computer modeling techniques, which are essential for advancing public health and economic growth alongside the United States, Europe, China and other global innovation leaders.
HSI/India Deputy Director Alokparna Sengupta said: “We are grateful to ICMR for thinking outside the cage and heeding our call to establish this urgently needed centre for advancement of human-specific approaches for medical research and product safety testing. More and more scientists are questioning the relevance and utility of animal-based research and testing, while foreign funding agencies are investing heavily in cutting-edge non-animal technologies. This new ICMR centre, if properly resourced, has the potential to make India a key global player in 21st century medical research. We look forward to continued collaboration with ICMR to make this vision a reality.”