Martyn Day, MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk, backs cutting-edge medical technology

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Martyn Day is pictured holding an example of a 3D organ on a chip, a cutting-edge new method of approach used in medical research. He is pictured next to Animal Free Research UK CEO Carla Owen (left) and Queen Mary University of London cancer researcher Dr Adrian Biddle (Photo credit AFRUK/Andrew Parsons).

The event at Portcullis House in Westminster included Animal Free Research UK-funded scientist Dr Adrian Biddle and early career researcher Alice Scemama from Queen Mary University of London, who demonstrated how new approach methodologies – known as NAM-like organs-on-a-chip dramatically improve new drug discovery processes.

MP Martyn Day said: “Drug development is notoriously slow and expensive – it can take up to 10 years and cost over £1billion to bring a new compound from the lab to market. One of the main causes of this inefficiency is the traditional reliance on testing drugs on animals before they are tested on humans.”

He added: ‘Animals often do not accurately reflect human physiology, which means that drugs that appear safe and effective in animals often turn out to be harmful or ineffective in humans. This biological mismatch causes many ineffective or toxic drugs to advance through clinical trials at great expense, while potentially effective compounds never make it to market.

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“As I and my parliamentary colleagues have learned, there are better ways to model human biology and disease, and these provide the precise data needed to accelerate the development of new drugs and personalized medicine.”

Animal Free Research UK is working to highlight the need for a central role for science relevant to humans in the country’s post-Covid research and innovation strategy, and recommends the creation of a dedicated post at ministerial to ‘lead an ambitious and comprehensive work programme’ across government to drive the UK’s transition to science relevant to humans.

Carla Owen, CEO of Animal Free Research UK, said: “MPs today saw how modern medical research methods are transforming our quest for better medicines and better health – and why Britain has good reason to be proud of being a center of excellence for science.

“They also learned how genetics and physiology between humans and animals differ dramatically, and why we must not be left behind relying on outdated animal experiments if we are to secure our international reputation as scientific superpower.

“We need to embrace high-tech alternatives to animal testing. Government must provide supporting infrastructure, funding, education and training, and regulations that enable research that is relevant to humans. Because accelerating human-relevant life sciences is good for human health, good for animals, and good for the economy.


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