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FRAME launches Impetus Project

FRAME is launching a research project to help identify where more needs to be done towards the replacement of animals.

At FRAME, we are often asking how we can make the biggest strides towards a world in which human-based methods, and not animals, are the first choice for human biology, disease, and drug research. As a charity, we have a history of working with animal researchers, alternative methodologies researchers, and those working in industry, to better understand the areas in which the main opportunities and challenges lie.

We know that our vision is ambitious, but in recent years there has been many developments in the area of replacements, including the growth in the number of individuals and organisations working on aspects of the issue.  3Rs centres exist in many countries and work diligently to replace the use of animals in research where possible. Researchers are constantly developing, trialling and validating new human-based methods and models. There are many, many areas that need work and projects that need carrying out, and lots of these are being tackled.

However, there is very little coordination or overview of how much progress is actually being made towards an animal-free biomedical research system. It’s important to consider whether, in amongst the hive of activity, there are areas that are being overlooked, particularly in basic biological and medical research which are not governed by guidelines in the same way as regulatory testing of chemicals and medicines. For example, are there research areas where a combination of available alternatives could, with a joined-up approach and collaboration, replace animals today? In areas where animal research remains necessary as there are no viable alternatives on the horizon, what is needed that would bring replacement one step closer?

With the above in mind, we are pleased to launch our Impetus Project.

The Impetus Project will seek views from researchers working in academia and industry, from funders, third sector organisations and anyone with expert knowledge of animal and non-animal methods (or New Approach Methods, NAMs) on two key questions:

  1. What are the areas of biomedical research or testing where animals are currently used, but could be replaced in the short term (5-10 years)?
  2. What are the areas of biomedical research or testing where replacement looks unlikely in the long term (20+ years)?

This information will allow us to identify where the most impact could be made towards the replacement of animals in the short and long term, by concerted effort. FRAME’s work has always been guided and informed by those directly working in the field, so it makes sense, to throw these critical questions out as widely as possible, rather than sit around a board table or consult only those with whom we are in contact.

The results of this survey will be discussed by an expert panel, before being compiled into a report that will allow us to identify where the most impact could be made towards the replacement of animals in the short and long term. The second stage of the project will consider the roadmap for achieving those changes.

We need as many views as possible to inform this work. Please find a link to the project survey below to share your opinions and knowledge of the questions posed, as well as sharing with colleagues that you believe can provide their opinions. All responses will be completely anonymous unless you choose to leave your details. The survey contains only five questions and should take no longer than 20 minutes, and there is also the option to put yourself or colleagues forward to be part of the expert panel that will discuss the results.

If you have any further questions or would like any further information about the survey or project, please contact Project Officer, Jessie Hellier, at: jessie@frame.org.uk.

Together, we can help to provide the critical information and guidance to inform funders and research teams, and accelerate the move towards more valid and reliable human-based methods.

Complete the Impetus Project survey

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