The EU is pushing hard to end animal testing, as can be seen from the funding it has just awarded to a new project called Carcinogenomics: EUR 10,440,000 over the next five years. Novozymes is contributing management and research to the project.

New project on cancer

While the existing EU-funded project to reduce animal testing in which Novozymes is involved focuses on allergy (the Sens-it-iv project), the new five-year project concentrates on cancer, particularly of the lungs, liver and kidneys. Both projects are looking to develop in vitro (test tube) methods which can replace testing on animals.

Carcinogenomics is expected to start up on January 1, 2007.

More humane

Erwin L. Roggen from Novozymes’ Pharma Protein Development is part of the management team and has high hopes: “Our goal is to develop test methods which can identify carcinogenic substances without having to use animals. This will make the process quicker, cheaper, more accurate and more humane.

"Another important benefit for Novozymes and the two projects is that Carcinogenomics is expected to boost the allergy project [Sens-it-iv] by providing information that makes it possible to improve the new test systems for showing whether a substance is allergenic.”

Whether it achieves its aim, only time will tell. But one thing is certain: once again Novozymes is leading the way when it comes to alternative test methods which avoid the use of laboratory animals.