NC3Rs e-newsletter - August 2015


NC3Rs announces funding for six new project grants

We have invested £1.65 million of awards in our 2015 project grant competition, into projects which are committed to the aims of 3Rs.



Supporting the adoption of a new approach to reduce the use of animals in tasks of spontaneous recognition

Through an NC3Rs PhD studentship and CRACK IT Solutions funding, Dr Alex Easton (Durham University) has developed a new apparatus that can halve the number of animals used in spontaneous object recognition tasks. These tasks are used extensively in studies of Alzheimer's disease and other conditions where memory loss and decline in cognitive function are consequences of the condition.

We are keen to support the wider memory research community by identifying opportunities for the adoption of this new approach and have developed a survey to better understand the appetite for uptake of the apparatus and what barriers might exist to prevent this.


2015 CRACK IT Challenges announced

The 2015 CRACK IT Challenges competition consists of two Challenges identified jointly by the NC3Rs and Sponsors:

Challenge 20: Metaboderm: Development of a new tool to predict metabolism in human skin.

Challenge 21: InMutaGene: Development of a technology to address the risks of insertional mutagenesis/oncogenesis and to improve the efficiency of translational research in gene therapy.

This year the competition is funded by the NC3Rs and Dstl, supported by and supported by Innovate UK, Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) with in-kind contribution from the Sponsors. Full details of the Challenges and Sponsors are available on the CRACK IT and SBRI websites.



Mouse Identification Matters: Labstamp ensures better science and better business

Somark Innovations is seeking partners to adopt and evaluate their Labstamp mouse identification system. Labstamp is a more refined permanent method of identification; offering the lowest rate of misidentification, the best study data capture accuracy and the best animal welfare.


2015 CRACK IT Challenges launch

10 September 2015: LONDON
We are hosting a meeting to launch the competition in central London on 10 September, providing invaluable access to potential new partners and to the Challenge Sponsors. Attendance is free but registration is essential. Register for the launch event via the CRACK IT website before 3 September 2015.



Primate Welfare Meeting

9 October 2015: LONDON
Hurry to reserve your place at our tenth Primate Welfare Meeting (registration deadline 30 September), to be chaired by Professor Sir Patrick Bateson FRS. The programme (now online) covers the latest research findings in primate welfare. Poster abstracts are also welcome, submission deadline 8 September


Publicly funded health research and the role of the NC3Rs

Mark Prescott, Head of Research Management and Policy, looks at a new report of the UK health landscape, and highlights the impact of NC3Rs research on improving human health.



Microsampling – less is more

We examine why microsampling has become a key talking point in recent years, and the reasons behind why so many organisations are taking steps to implement microsampling techniques in their research. We have developed a survey to capture current trends and opinions on microsampling. Please fill out the short survey and help direct our future work in the area.



Assessing drug safety in human tissues — what are the barriers?

High attrition rates due to safety liabilities observed in the clinic, but that were not identified during nonclinical development, are a major contributor to the escalating costs and reduced produc¬tivity of the pharmaceutical industry. The development and use of human tissue-based assays provides an obvious alternative to the current approaches used to predict human safety.

However, recent work from a joint NC3Rs/MHRA working group has highlighted the difficulties scientists face in adopting these approaches. Published in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, the paper describes the findings of a survey of the global safety pharmacology community to better understand the extent of human tissue use in safety assessment and the barriers to wider uptake.