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NC3Rs: National Centre for the Replacement Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research

Applying the 3Rs in drug development: Improving delivery of innovative treatments to patients

16 October 2019
Centrifuge tubes

The NC3Rs has a long-standing collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry, providing companies with an opportunity to share data and experience in a non-competitive environment with the aim of advancing the 3Rs. 

These collaborative projects have changed company practices and regulatory guidelines, reducing costs and providing new predictive tools to speed up drug development.

To mark 15 years of this collaboration, we hosted a workshop in June 2019 that brought together scientists working in academia, industry, government and regulatory bodies from across the UK, mainland Europe and the USA. Representatives from pharmaceutical companies, contract research organisations and regulators spoke about the 3Rs, scientific and business benefits of participating in datasharing working groups, as well as ways to address current 3Rs challenges.

The workshop report summarises the discussions, which identified challenges that can be grouped into three main themes:

  1. The use of alternative methods and opportunities for replacement.
  2. Global harmonisation to allow a more standardised approach to testing and adopting 3Rs approaches.
  3. Improved study designs for reducing and refining animal use.

A number of new projects have been identified as a result of the workshop. These will form the basis of future collaborations between the NC3Rs and the pharmaceutical industry.

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