Could non-animal technologies be able to replace animal models?

 | Post date: 2023/01/23 | 
FDA no longer requires all drugs to be tested on animals before human trials. In a victory for animal rights advocates, drugmakers can take their products to human clinical trials using alternative testing methods that don't involve animals. According to a new law, signed by President Joe Biden at the end of last year, the mandate that all drugs be tested on animals before progressing to human trials has been waived.
In place of the 1938 stipulation that potential drugs be tested for safety and efficacy in animals, the law allows FDA to promote a drug or biologic—a larger molecule such as an antibody to human trials after either animal or nonanimal tests. 
Animal alternatives include organ chip technology, organoids, and 3D clusters of cells that are derived from stem cells and mimic specific tissues. They have shown promise in predicting liver and cardiac toxicities. Proponents also tout the potential of digital artificial neural networks for rapidly identifying the toxic effects of drugs. however, some scientists argue that non-animal technologies are still “in their infancy” and won’t be able to replace animal models for “many, many years.” FDA still retains tremendous discretion to require animal tests, they note, and they don’t expect the agency to change tack anytime soon.
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