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Dr Hadwen Trust announces five new grants paving the way to replacing animals in experiments

Dr Hadwen Trust announces five new grants paving the way to replacing animals in experiments

The Dr Hadwen Trust has revealed details of the ground breaking medical research projects it is funding this year, in diverse areas such as epilepsy, bone disease in childhood leukaemia, brain cell imaging, nanotoxicity testing and abdominal pain studies.

Through its work, the Dr Hadwen Trust is funding projects which develop more human relevant approaches using modern methods and replace the need for animal experiments, of which there were 3.6 million in 2009.

Home Office statistics released in July show that whilst overall numbers of experiments have fallen by 1%, and toxicology tests on animals in 2008-2009 dropped by 10%1, disappointingly the number of new world primates used, such as marmosets and tamarins, rose by 90%2.

Despite the fact that most scientists challenge the validity of animal models for medical research as they do not reliably mimic the human condition, the number of animal experiments carried out each year still remains high. By using existing advanced human relevant methods such as 3D cell and tissue cultures, computer imaging, molecular analytical methods and volunteer studies, for example, and by developing new ones, scientists can move away from traditional methods to more accurate and scientifically reliable techniques.

Dr Sebastien Farnaud, Science Director of the Dr Hadwen Trust, said:
"Countless animals are used each year as research models to mimic human diseases and disorders but their relevance to human conditions is questionable. We hope that this year's new grants, together with the 140 ground breaking projects we have funded over the past 40 years, will inspire more scientists to follow these pioneers and explore more advanced human relevant techniques as alternatives to animal experiments."

This year's grants include:

Epilepsy - Newcastle University, 2010 - 2012
Bone Disease - Cardiff University, 2010 - 2012
Brain Cell Imaging- Birmingham University, 2010 - 2013
Nanotoxicity Testing - Nottingham University, 2010 - 2012
Abdominal Pain Studies - Barts & Queen Mary's, University of London, 2010 - 2013

The Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research funds cutting edge research at universities across the UK. The projects carried out by its grant holders aim to replace the use of animals in medical research which will lead to more relevant, high quality research. Current projects include research into breast cancer, multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, skin cancer and brain infections.

ENDS

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Amanda Gent, Press Officer, on tel: 01462 436819, email a.gent@drhadwentrust.org or visit: www.drhadwentrust.org

Notes to Editor:

Statistics of Scientific Procedures on Living Animals - Great Britain, 2009 -
Full details of the statistics can be viewed here: rds.homeoffice.gov.uk

1 - Toxicology tests increased by 16% in 2007-2008 and decreased by 10% in 2008-2009.

2 - 90% represents the total number of new world monkeys used which corresponds to an increase of 68% in the number of procedures.

Summary

Breeding to produce genetically modified (GM) animals and harmful mutants (HM)
Harmful Mutations (HM) increased by 10% (+143,000) to 1.5 million procedures, accounted for by an increase for mice (+161,000).

Excluding such breeding, the numbers of procedures fell from 2.3 million to 2.1 million (-8% or -180,000). For the first time, procedures using genetically 'normal' animals were less than half the total (48%). There was an increase of 9% in numbers of procedures involving mice, a fall of 7% for non human primates, and falls for most other species.

The total number of procedures was a third higher (+33% or +905,000) in 2009 than in 2000, mostly accounted for by an increase in breeding to produce GM and HM animals (+834,000 higher, of which mice +734,000). Excluding such breeding, the total was slightly higher in 2009 than in 2000 (+3% or +70,000)

Amanda Gent
PR Officer
Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research

Suite 8, Portmill House
Portmill Lane
Hitchin
Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1462 436 819
Fax: +44 (0) 1462 436 844

The Dr Hadwen Trust is the UK's leading medical research charity funding exclusively non-animal research techniques to replace animal experiments, benefiting people and animals. Registered charity 261096.

For further information or to make a donation, visit www.drhadwentrust.org and www.scienceroom.org

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