Animal testing alternative?
STOCKHOLM—Biovator AB recently announced it would collaborate with AstraZeneca R&D on the development of an in-vitro allergen test, offering the hope of eliminating expensive and controversial animal testing protocols from drug, cosmetic, and food analysis. The work is timed to coincide with the enforcement of an EU Directive that will significantly curtail or outright ban animal testing by 2009.
"There is a significant need for this kind of test in the pharmaceutical sector as well as other industries that are introducing new substances and compounds into the marketplace," says Dr. Karin Cederbrant, head of AstraZeneca immunotoxicology. "Taking part in the creation of dependable ways to eliminate the need for using live animals is totally in line with our policy."
The desire to move away from animal testing has been a strong motivation for the in vitro toxicology market, with companies like Biovator looking to lead the way to less ethically challenging practices. In the United States alone, this market passed $750 million in 2006 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of almost 15% to reach $1.5 billion by 2011, according to recent work by BCC Research.