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Animal Free Research

Why it is important to use alternatives to animal testing

Estimated number of laboratory animals used in U.S. per year


Laboratory animals that are rats, mice and birds—species that are exempt from the U.S. Animal Welfare Act


Accuracy of rodent predictions of human toxicities in drug trials


Accuracy of dog and primate predictions of human toxicities in human drug trials

Annual cost of testing drugs, chemicals and consumer products on animals

U.S. agencies’ spending in the last 10 years to promote organ-on-chip models and other testing to replace animal testing

The Failure Rate

The long-standing ethical questions raised by animal testing have always been put to one side. Governments and scientists alike often justify animal testing as a necessity for scientific gain and as producing a greater good.

Current regulatory requirements to assess a molecule for medicinal use are focused around extensive animal testing, yet the rate of failure averages 87% at the cost of $379.9 million per failure.

This brings to the table the widely accepted estimates of The Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry, which are £1.15 billion on average to get a drug to market.


Faced with this landscape, is animal testing something that the scientific community can still caution?

We don’t think so!

With the advent of alternative technologies there is ample room for alternatives to animal testing in order to improve the drug discovery process, the science, and reducing the amount animal testing.

As Professor Thomas Hartung (CAAT, John Hopkins University, USA) memorably said: “Humans are not 70 kg rats. Indeed, if you look at the anatomy of a rat, a dog, a pig, a human and there will be similarities. The bloodstream connecting the organs together to create a living being. But look closer on the cellular and molecular level and the landscape is vastly different.”

With in vitro testing we are able to use human cells to test molecules with very few related ethical issues, simultaneously reducing the cost of drug discovery and increasing the relevance of results.

FDA Modernization Act 2.0 – Good news for Drug Discovery

With the passing of the FDA Modernization Act 2.0 by the US Senate (O9/2022), drug developing industry will have the freedom to use human-relevant platforms such as Quasi Vivo® rather than animal-based models for pre-clinical evaluation.

This bill authorizes the use of certain alternatives to animal testing, including cell-based assays and computer models, to obtain an exemption from the Food and Drug Administration to investigate the safety and effectiveness of a drug. The bill also removes a requirement to use animal studies as part of the process to obtain a license for a biological product that is biosimilar or interchangeable with another biological product.

Our Alternative To Animal Testing

Kirkstall is committed to installing our passion and eagerness for developing alternatives to animal testing into the mind-sets of researchers worldwide. In order to truly change the research landscape it is necessary to develop new technologies that can clearly demonstrate, with scientific data, their ability to better predict the impact a drug compound will have in the human body – enter Quasi Vivo®.

Our Quasi Vivo® flow chambers are a step towards bringing the systemic properties required by researchers currently using animals for research into the in vitro labs.

The Quasi Vivo® systems provide a significantly more human relevant research environment and enable the use of human cells/tissue slices in 2D or 3D constructs (scaffolds, gels or spheroids) in long term toxicology, mechanistic and metabolic studies.

It is in fighting this battle that we unite with key 3Rs leaders to bring alternatives to animal testing to the forefront of science, working with regulators, academia and industry to bring solutions to the wider scientific community.

Our Partners

Kirkstall is pleased to work with a number of charitable organisations who share our commitment to finding viable alternatives to animal testing and the shift towards more human relevant science.

CAAT Academy

Connecting experts from Europe and the U.S. to provide hands-on-training in human-relevant alternative methods and technologies for toxicologists.

The Alliance for Human Relevant Science

An inclusive collaboration of like-minded companies, organisations and individuals. Working together, we will accelerate innovation and create positive change.

The Lush Prize

Changing researchers’ perspectives on animal replacement and in vitro testing through training combining of lectures, demonstrations and practical hands-on experience.

Animal Free Research UK

Animal Free Research UK is the UK’s leading non-animal medical research charity. Animal Free Research UK fund and promote the development of techniques and procedures to replace the use of animals in biomedical research.



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    Address: Kirkstall, Ltd York House,
    Outgang Lane, York
    North Yorkshire, YO19 5UP

    Phone: + 44 (0) 1709 361 241

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