30th May 2018
Our paper questioning animal drug-testing is backed up by new research
New study on animal drug-testing finds animals poor predictors of absence of toxicity
Our research raising serious questions about the ability of animal tests to predict human drug safety has been backed up by a recently published scientific paper.
The paper, “A big data approach to the concordance of the toxicity of pharmaceuticals in animals and humans” reports the analysis of more than 3,000 drugs and the adverse reactions in five animal species as well as in humans.
The paper which is co-authored by scientists and representatives from the pharmaceutical industry used the same approach as our own study and concluded that lack of toxicity in animal tests was not good a predictor of lack of toxicity in humans.
No matter how well any animal test might predict human toxicity, it is the absence of toxicity in animals that is the main factor for progressing a new drug into human trials. If animal tests fail here, then this means the tests are not fit for their overall purpose of identifying safe and effective human drugs. It must also have repercussions for the pharmaceutical industry and its regulators and how they approach drug testing generally.
The new paper also confirmed our finding that adverse reactions in animal tests are also likely to occur in humans, but often not in a similar manner. However, we believe this difference means animal tests cannot be considered particularly consistent or reliable.
Dr Jarrod Bailey, Senior Research Scientist at Cruelty Free International, said: “We are pleased to see our study replicated by external groups and that our results have been validated. It is now important that the findings of both these studies, and others, are examined in more detail, and results used to replace the use of animals, including dogs and monkeys as second species, as soon as possible.”