The multibillion-dollar global antibody industry produces an indispensable resource but that is generated using millions of animals. Despite the irrefutable maturation and availability of animal-friendly affinity reagents (AFAs) employing na€ive B lymphocyte or synthetic recombinant technologies expressed by phage display, animal immunisation is still authorised for antibody production. Remarkably, replacement opportunities have been overlooked, despite the enormous potential reduction in animal use. Directive 2010/63/EU requires that animals are not used where alternatives exist. To ensure its implementation, we have engaged in discussions with the EU Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM) and the Directorate General for Environment to carve out an EU-led replacement strategy. Measures must be imposed to avoid outsourcing, regulate commercial production, and ensure that antibody producers are fully supported.
Gray, A. C., Sidhu, S. S., Chandrasekera, P. C., Hendriksen, C. F. M., & Borrebaeck, C. A. K. (2016). Animal-friendly affinity reagents: Replacing the needless in the haystack. Trends in biotechnology, 34(12), 960-969. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tibtech.2016.05.017