British Heart Foundation looking at reducing animal testing

Photo: BHF

The British Heart Foundation says it is investing in finding ways to reduce the use of animals in heart attack research.

BHF says they have invested £23 million in 58 new projects between September and November 2018, with £90,000 going to Dr Sarah Jones at Manchester Metropolitan University to look into "significantly cutting the number of animals used in this research area."

In a post explaining the research they said:

"Animal experiments are widely used in order to help develop new medicines and to test the safety of certain products before they’re used on humans.
"Animals, usually mice, are currently used in research to examine the effects of potential medicines for heart attacks and strokes.
"Heart attacks and strokes can occur when blood clots block one or more arteries in the heart or brain, killing millions of people around the world each year. It’s therefore vital for researchers to study in detail what happens in arteries before and after a heart attack and stroke, in order to prevent this.
"We already follow the principles of the 3Rs - replacement, reduction and refinement of animals in research, which mean we avoid the use of animals wherever possible, minimise the number of animals used, and improve animal welfare. Now we’ve teamed up with The National Centre for the Replacement Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) to design new research methods that do not involve animals.
"This project aims to reduce the use of animals in the study of blood clot formation and treatment in arteries. The researchers aim to re-create the conditions inside diseased human arteries in the lab, as close to the real thing as possible. They will use human blood, flowing through a synthetic blood vessel populated with human artery cells. They will compare results of experiments using this method with the current best methods to ensure it works well, or better.
"By developing this method and showing that it works, they hope to create a technique that can be adopted by teams around the UK and the world. This could significantly cut the number of animals used in this important research area."

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