Target: James Koon, Chief Executive of Emulate
Goal: Applaud company that has made scientific progress which could render animal testing obsolete
A company that started at Harvard is developing technology that could make animal testing unnecessary. They have developed small postage-stamp size organs made out of human cells. They have already successfully replicated a miniature human lung. This technology can be used to test the toxicity of drugs and of other substances. The people at the company, called Emulate, hope that they will be soon be able to connect chips that represent all the human organs. Then, they will be able to see how drugs react across an entire body, and not just in specific parts.
As it stands, the FDA mandates that all drugs be tested on animals before they are tested on people. However, because dogs, mice and humans are different species, the animal testing often predicts misleading results and does not reflect how the drug will be respond in the human body. While there are false positives — and sometimes drugs fail in animals that do not fail in humans — most of the tests provide the opposite incorrect result. 92% of drugs that pass animal tests end up failing in human clinical trials.
Using Emulate’s technology will make drug testing a more efficient process. It will also make it completely unnecessary for cruel animal testing to take place. The company predicts that they will be able to commercialize their technology by 2016. When their technology becomes widespread, it will be a great day for lab animals. Not only will drug animals become unnecessary, but also the animals that are injected with diseases, and the animals used to test cosmetics. We want to thank Emulate for furthering scientific discovery, but also for ending animal cruelty in this respect.
Dear Mr. Koon,
We wanted to thank you for your revolutionary technology. As I am sure many have told you, this is truly a game changer for how drugs are tested. Your organ chips sound like the technology of the future, and it is beneficial for everyone that the future is here.
An astounding number of drugs pass the animal test and then fail the clinical test. The system now basically unnecessarily tests on animals, and ends up failing in actual live human’s bodies. Your new chips will revolutionize that whole process so that it is more efficient. We applaud you and the applications of Emulate.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Geraldine Hamilton via YouTube