Pig Cells In Monkey Brains, or Proper Medical Research by the Dr Hadwen Trust ?

Pig Transplant Company Set To Start Monkey

Trials For Parkinsons

Friday, 24 July, 2009 – 04:02

Wellington, July 24 NZPA – TransTasman biotech start-up Living Cell Technology (LCT) says it plans to soon start testing brain cells from piglets in primates to see if they can be used as a therapy for parkinson’s disease.

“We are proceeding to primate studies for Parkinson’s pretty soon,” LCT medical director, Professor Bob Elliott said yesterday.

The primate studies were needed to test the safety of injecting tissue straight into the brain, but these would have to be done outside New Zealand because such testing here would require specific ministerial approval.

He told a media briefing on xenotransplants that clinical trials of brain treatments were still years away.

The company yesterday started work on clinical trials at Middlemore Hospital of insulin-producing pig cells taken from the piglets and inserted in patients with unstable type-1 diabetes to create extra insulin.

The company tested transplant techniques on monkeys in Singapore, but Prof Elliott said today he believed the diabetes “model’ in primates was flawed because tests on eight animals only got one of them off insulin.

That was why LCT had jumped to human diabetes clinical trials in Russia and New Zealand, without following the pattern of pre-clinical trials in primates.

The company has also been investigating whether human liver cells grown in test tubes may be able to stop uncontrolled bleeding in haemophiliacs.

“We’ve tried brain choroid plexus cells, we’ve tried liver cells….there are many other cell types we could use, even just using the tissues themselves.”

Prof Elliott said pre-clinical testing for implants of brain tissue were being done in small animals such as laboratory rats in New Zealand, and there had previously been one trial in a chimpanzee for huntingdon’s disease.

Huntington’s causes chorea — uncontrollable twisting, almost dance-like movements — and slowly destroys the ability to walk and talk, leading to behavioural changes and dementia.

Research on both the brain and islet cell transplants from pigs was supported by New Zealand taxpayers, through the Government’s Foundation for Research Science and Technology.

The company has said animal studies showed that its planned brain product, NeurotrophinCell (NtCell) — encapsulated brain choroid plexus cells — improved limb function in a Parkinson’s disease rat model.

Parkinson’s disease — caused by degeneration of the cells in the brain that regulate dopamine — affects 107 people per 100,000 worldwide and occurs more frequently with increasing age. As the “dopaminergic” brain cells die, the dopamine supply decreases and becomes irregular, and nerves that regulate muscle tremor malfunction.

The efficacy of existing treatments with dopamine replacement fade over time.

Prof Elliott made his first implants of pig islet cells into NZ diabetics in 1996, but was stopped by official concerns that pig viruses could be introduced into the human population.

NZ medical authorities blocked the trials being re-started in Rarotonga, and LCT was later listed on the Australian stock exchange to fund monkey trials in Singapore.

NZPA WGT kca kc

http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/pig-transplant-company-set-start-monkey-trials-parkinsons/5/19068

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***   And now, what REAL scientists and researchers are achieving for humans and animals – real scientific progress ………… ***

http://www.drhadwentrust.org/

The Dr Hadwen Trust is the UK’s leading medical research charity funding exclusively non-animal techniques to replace animal experiments, benefiting humans
and animals

Non-animal research

Globally, scientific research uses millions of animals in experiments every year.
These experiments can cause pain, suffering and inevitably death for the animals used in them, for results that are of dubious relevance to human health.

So what is the alternative?

The Dr Hadwen Trust develops non-animal research methods to replace animal experiments. We enable scientific research and make medical progress without causing suffering to animals. We have successfully developed new non-animal research techniques that have saved thousands of animals and made a real contribution to the fight against human illness.

Animal experiments are an inefficient approach to medical research in a modern world, and the development of non-animal replacements is imperative. Abandoning animal research in favour of more advanced non-animal methods could ultimately speed medical progress – to the benefit of both humans and animals.

Spotlight on life-saving research without animal suffering

Huntington’s disease: Huntington’s disease (HD) is an incurable inherited genetic disorder that affects the nervous system. Currently, much research into HD is conducted on monkeys, pigs and rodents injected with toxic chemicals or genetically modified to mimic symptoms. However, results have been conflicting and there have been no major therapeutic advances so far. Our research at Sheffield University aims to produce a new non-animal model of HD using human skin cells from HD patients. This would be far more useful for understanding the underlying cellular mechanisms that contribute to the disease and enable fast screening of potential drugs.

Dr Hadwen Trust research wins non-animal replacement prize

Dr Hadwen Trust-funded researchers studying breast cancer have won a prestigious non-animal replacement prize at an event hosted by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) and held at the House of Lords. Our researchers at Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine and Queen Mary’s, University of London, constructed a
three-dimensional model of human breast cancer in the test tube using human cells.  Find out more…

Ricky Gervais, Joanna Lumley and other stars join cyber march for humane science

Comedian Ricky Gervais, actress and DHT Patron Joanna Lumley OBE and rockers Brian May CBE and Chrissie Hynde, have joined tens of thousands of people taking part in the Make Animal Testing History virtual march to Brussels to update the EU’s 20-year old law on animal experiments. Click here to see the celebrity avatars cheering on the marchers; click each avatar to see what they have to say.

“With all the non-animal techniques available now and in the future, we really don’t need to hurt animals to make medical progress.”
Ricky Gervais

‘Roadmap to Replacement’ needed, says the DHT, following 14% rise in animal experiments

The Dr Hadwen Trust was quick to respond to new Home Office statistics published July 21st that reveal a substantial rise in Britain’s animal experiments. With 2009 marking the 50th anniversary of the birth of the 3Rs* (replacement, reduction and refinement of animal experiments), far greater progress to replace animals with alternatives could and should have been made but instead animal numbers are now as high as they were in the late 1980s. The Dr Hadwen Trust said this was “a wake-up call moment for policy makers” and immediately wrote to the Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Conservative leader David Cameron, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg and Green Party leader Dr Caroline Lucas, to seek political commitment to devising a national ‘Roadmap to Replacement’.

Animal research statistics 2008 at a glance

  • 39% increase in animal experiments since
    Labour came to power in 1997
  • 3.656 million animal experiments
  • 3.583 million animals
  • 14% rise in animal experiments
  • 16% rise in experiments on GM animals
  • 16% rise in monkey experiments
  • 17% rise in cat experiments
  • 9% rise in mice experiments
  • 82% rise in experiments on amphibians
  • 85% rise in fish experiments
  • 95% rise in pig experiments
  • Decreases in use of dogs (-18%), rabbits (-13%)

Click here to read our press release reaction…

* What are the 3Rs?
In 1959 two British scientists, William Russell and Rex Burch, were the first to define the concept of the replacement, reduction and refinement of animal experiments, now adopted throughout much of the world and incorporated into legislation. Whilst the Dr Hadwen Trust’s work focuses on the single ‘R’ of the replacement of animals, we recognise the enormous significance of the 3Rs concept in stimulating work on non-animal methods over the last fifty years.

DHT tells House of Lords Committee: EU needs new strategic vision to replace animals

In June the Dr Hadwen Trust’s science policy team presented oral evidence to the House of Lords EU Committee as part of its consultation with experts on the Directive 86/609 proposals. The DHT told the Committee that policy makers must embrace the vision of a world where animal experiments have either been fully replaced or are prohibited, and that as a solutions-led charity the Dr Hadwen Trust works to find the science to achieve that vision. Once again we promoted the establishment of an EU Centre of Excellence in Alternatives, incorporating a new strategic vision of science for the future. We believe that establishing an EU Centre would be one of the most significant achievements of the revised Directive, setting strategic goals for replacement science across all areas of animal use. The Committee’s newly published interim conclusions indicate that it agrees.

Find out more…

http://www.drhadwentrust.org/

Contact us

Dr Hadwen Trust
18 Market Place
Hitchin
Herts
SG5 1DS
UK

Registered Charity No: 261096

Tel: 01462 436819
International: +44 1462 436819

Fax: 01462 436844
International: +44 1462 436844

E-mail: info@drhadwentrust.org

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