Blog post

Live animals should no longer be used for antibody production

June 04, 2020 | By Louis Loeb

Today, Information published a debate post written by Bente Lakjer, director of The Danish Society for Protection of Laboratory Animals, who argues that live animals should no longer be used for the production of antibodies.

At Biogenity, we have long had a close relationship with The Danish Society for Protection of Laboratory Animals and, as an organization, agree that it is time for antibody manufacturers using animal immunization to take a step in the better direction. There are many recombinant methods available, meaning that animals are not used in the production of antibodies.

"Each year, around a million animals are used alone in the EU to develop and produce antibodies. The procedures can involve significant animal suffering. It is, therefore, ethically unacceptable and contrary to the law to continue using animals."

- Bente Lakjer, director of The Danish Society for Protection of Laboratory Animals

The EU Directive 2010/63 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes states the obligation to use animal-free methods that are scientifically adequate and produce results that are as good or better than methods using experimental animals.

The main conclusion of a new report from the EU Scientific Advisory Committee on Antibodies set up under the European Union Reference Laboratory for Alternatives to Animal Testing (EURL-ECVAM) is that the use of live animals to produce antibodies can be replaced. One of these methods is the Phage Display used by our partners at Yumab GmbH and Abcalis GmbH.

When we talk to manufacturers and scientists using animal immunization, we encounter many prejudices about recombinant methods. Typical examples are that the quality is not nearly as good, that the process takes longer and that it is more expensive. It is time to settle these prejudices and recognize that the quality of the antibodies produced by the animal-free method is at least as good as in animal immunization. Biogenitys market analysis has revealed that manufacturers can reduce up to two weeks of production time by using the animal-free method instead of animal immunization.

We recognize that the recombinant methods today are often a bit more expensive, which we at Biogenity will soon change, making the recombinant method the apparent choice for antibody production. Biogenity is developing new software that will help antibody-producing companies gain unprecedented precision when selecting the right recombinant antibody candidates. Thus, making the process more efficient and saving valuable time and money during production.

We understand that many manufacturers offer what is in demand, which is why we encourage researchers, companies, and not least, consumers to make strict demands on the production of antibodies. Bente Lakjer stated in the debate that The Danish Society for Protection of Laboratory Animals proposes the following guidelines:

  • that authorities, foundations, and others who support research financially require the new recommendations to be followed.
  • develop guidelines for the transition to animal-free technologies as soon as possible.
  • guidelines should be developed for applicants for animal testing permits, which state that in future applications for authorization to induce or produce antibodies in live animals will only be accepted as an absolute exception.
  • the production of antibodies with animal-free methods must be introduced in all EU countries.

Join the debate and help to make a change for the better.

The Biogenity team

Previous blog post

Phage Display prediction software can save many resources

May 22, 2020 | By Louis Loeb

A new spring and almost summer are above our office at Biogenity, reminding us that after autumn storms and the cold of winter comes the sun, warmth and the beautiful sight of flowering nature. COVID-19 has a huge and terrible impact on the world and show how vulnerable we still are to viruses. COVID-19 and its impact on Biogenity: The impact of COVID-19 did hit Biogenity. However, due to the great support received from Horizon 2020 and the Innovation Fund Denmark for our research and development projects, the impact wasn't significant. It reminded us why Biogenity was founded almost two years ago, the vision of being a catalyst in drug discovery and a mission of contributing to the...

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