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Indian Council of Medical Research pitches for animal-free tests

Indian Council of Medical Research pitches for animal-free tests
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The paper, published this month in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, calls for the development and use of a “21st-century toolbox” of...

Hyderabad: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recognised the "need for alternatives to animals in experimentation" in a new publication authored by former ICMR Director-General Dr Sowmya Swaminathan and another senior leadership, with expert inputs from Humane Society International/India.

The paper, published this month in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, calls for the development and use of a "21st-century toolbox" of human-relevant, non-animal techniques to make India self-reliant in the development of non-animal technologies.

Alokparna Sengupta, managing director of HSI/India, said here: "This is the first time that an important government agency has publicly spoken about the need for alternatives to animals in research. The need to replace animals in laboratories is not only an ethical issue but one critical to the advancement of medical research and to India's technological and economic competitiveness on the global stage."

The ICMR document builds on the Council's decision earlier this year to establish a Centre for Excellence in Human Pathway-based Biomedicine and Risk Assessment. The Centre's purpose is to support in every way the growing demand from India's research community for a reliable, domestic supply of cellular, organoid, organ-chip and other micro-physiological models for regulatory testing needs and for basic research.

"We applaud the ICMR's investment in non-animal medical science, and we look forward to collaborating with the ICMR and India's biomedical community to ensure the strongest possible returns to our nation, its citizens, and to animals," adds Sengupta.

HSI leads efforts globally to encourage scientists, companies, and policymakers to transition away from animal use in favor of 21st-century methods. Our Biomedical Research for the 21st Century Collaboration BioMed21.org brings together experts from around the globe to share knowledge and best practices, improving the quality of research by replacing animals in the laboratory.

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