Tackling respiratory diseases with advanced non-animal models
Respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer are the most common of all diseases and causes of death worldwide.
However, over 90% of new candidate drugs fail to make it through clinical trials and gain market approval. Although there are several reasons for this, limitations of animal models to capture critical aspects of human physiology and disease are being increasingly cited as a critical issue.
Attention is shifting therefore to non-animal models and methods based on human relevant tools and thinking to advance our understanding of respiratory diseases and offer new hope to patients.
The study, coordinated by the JRC's EU Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM), has produced a unique knowledge base that contains detailed descriptions of nearly 300 non-animal models being used for respiratory disease research.
The knowledge base is in an easy-to-use spreadsheet format and is freely available to download from the EURL ECVAM Collection in the JRC Data Catalogue.
In building the knowledge base, over 21,000 abstracts from the scientific literature were screened and from these, a total of 284 publications were selected that described the most representative and innovative models.
"To our knowledge this is the first time that such advanced non-animal models used in biomedical sciences have been systematically collected and analysed", comments JRC scientist Laura Gribaldo. "It's been a real challenge to put all the information together in a structured and easily accessible format since there is a huge amount of heterogeneous data out there spread over a plethora of different scientific journals and electronic resources."
To our knowledge this is the first time that such advanced non-animal models used in biomedical sciences have been systematically collected and analysed.Laura Gribaldo, JRC scientist