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Breakthrough drug testing technology could put animal testing to an end

Scientists at the University of Central Florida have produced a new method to predict how humans react to chemical substances. The human-on-a-chip technology uses human tissue that has been donated to mimic human organs, and has been central to their study.

Cruelty Free International announced the news, declaring the development in animal-free testing methods.

There has also been recent progress in the ability to grow human heart cells, meaning that scientists can start work on accurately measuring how drugs and different chemicals affect the human heart – this was one of the reasons that some new drug trials have failed.

Cruelty Free International said that the drugs themselves aren’t often toxic on the heart, but depends on the way that the liver processes it, which can cause complications.

However, with this new technology, scientists and researchers will be able to better predict how both the heart and the liver react to potentially life-changing drugs, with a more accurate representation of how the human body reacts – rather than an animal’s, where the physiology is different.

Dr Jarrod Bailey, senior research scientist at Cruelty Free International, said: “These latest advancements in human-on-a-chip technology improve the prediction of heart toxicity in humans, which has been a major factor in the failure of new drugs.

“It gives even better results than before, is superior to animal tests, and more accurately reflects what will happen in people.”

He added: “This is an exciting example of how a modern-day innovation can produce a much more humane and human-relevant way of understanding human disease processes and the effects of new drugs and chemicals, without the need for animal suffering.”

Every year, millions of animal needlessly die as a result of drug and chemical testing. The outdated practices could be put to an end with the development of these new innovative processes, which also provides more reliable results for how humans react to new chemicals.

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