The conventional drug development system is lengthy, costly, and ineffective as it relies on animal research that fails to predict human reactions to new drugs. This is reflected by high failure rates – consistently over 92% of new drugs, which appeared safe and effective in animal tests, fail in human clinical trials.
One of the students we are currently supporting through the lifETIME CDT, Lauren Hope, recently authored a blog describing how she took time out of her PhD research at Glasgow University for a three-month placement with Animal Free Research UK.
Sometimes the likelihood of a study being published is affected not by the results, but by the approach of the study. Animal Method Bias falls into this category: it is described as a preference for animal-based methods, which affects the likelihood of a study being accepted for publication.
This pioneering UK Helpathon represents the first step towards the goal of a network of international Helpathons under one umbrella. This would connect collaborators and ideas to each other, helping to create a world where human diseases are cured faster without animal suffering.
The Home Office unit responsible for regulating animal experiments has published a long-awaited report into animal welfare breaches in British laboratories. This describes deeply troubling incidents including a non-human primate dying after becoming trapped behind a restraint device, 16 rats dying of suffocation and numerous incidents of animals being left without food or water.