The Bioengineering Institut of Catalunya has participated in a European study that demonstrates the efficacy of a new drug to stop, in its initial stage the infection by COVID-19. The research was published in early April 2020 in the North American journal CELL, specialized in molecular biology for 46 years. The drug has already been tested in 200 patients. This news which is highly likely to bring health benefits, acquires major relevance for NGO ADDA because it confirms which is the right direction of the long fight against scientific aberrations and ethically and morally unjustifiable practices that, due to inertia and economic benefit still remain to date and have not yet diminished.
We are talking about the fight against animal testing. In fact this new drug has not been tested in mice, rabbits, or primates. It has been investigated by means of small cell culture techniques, small-scale reproductions – less than a millimetre – of human organs, obtained from stem cells, which are, to make it clear, the original ones, and are able to develop into a wide range of different cell types.
These "Mini-organs are produced in Petri dishes and artificially grow by the injection of nutrients. They not only mimic the function of the tissue the human body, but are also can be personalized, according to the patients they come from.
This represents a remarkable scientific breakthrough. On one hand, it shows the path towards personalized and reliable medicine, much more adapted to find urgent solutions to diseases such as the current pandemia. On the other hand, it is not an invasive method, since it does not harm nor people who have only one cell removed and nor animals because they are not used in tests. Animal testing is absolutely biased science in favour of economic benefits. Indeed, despite that humans and mice and chimpanzees may share a very high percentage of their genes, the internal connections, the immune systems, the respective physiologies, respond to very different and in no way comparable patterns . (Please read the article of Professor Pietro Croce, published in ADDA magazine “ADDA Defiende los Animales”, nº5, 1991). As evidence of this, between 92% and 95% of all drugs thatare effective in animals fail in the subsequent clinical phases tested in human patients. And yet, in the the European Union, 11 million animals are still used, and most of them killed, every year, in scientific research. Our association welcomes this new step forward with the hope that in the near future animals will not be tortured anymore in useless tests.. ADDA, founded in 1976, and declared of Public Interest in 1981, pioneered in Spain the struggle for the welfare of animals and nature. It is the only Spanish representative in the European organizations such as ECEAE or Cruelty Free Europe that are putting pressure within the EU ruling framework, to put an end to cruel animal testing and the use of non-animal methods prevail.
For a long time, among many other struggles, Ngo ADDA has been informing and promoting alternative methods to get a real decrease of animal experimentation. Last summer, long before the appearance of this new type of coronavirus, ADDA translated into Spanish and disseminated through its website and Vimeo platform the video “Scientific Advances Without Animal Experimentation" produced by the ECEAE member, Doctors Against Animal Experiments (Äerzte Gegen Tierversuche).
ADDA also presented last December 2019in its website an extensive blog that we recommend, specialized with a wide and summarized documentation linked to alternative techniques, that collects all the scientific and ethical reasons that endorse the use of alternative methods and reject the use of animals in scientific research.
Blog (in Spanish): Alternativas a la experimentación con animales