Novozymes has received the Proggy award for Best Innovation, which is handed out each year by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Novozymes has received the award for its work in developing test methods so that experiments on animals can be avoided.

Novozymes and EU projects

Back in 2005 the EU asked Novozymes to be the chief coordinator in a project with the aim of looking at alternatives to testing on animals. The head of the project is Dr Erwin Roggen, a senior researcher at Novozymes.

A year later Dr Roggen was asked to take an active part in another EU project looking at alternatives to testing potentially carcinogenic products on animals. He was also to take part in a project on alternative tests of pharmaceutical proteins.

The background to these projects is that millions of experiments are conducted on animals every year. The goal of the European Commission is that this should cease and that science and industry should switch to using laboratory methods, also known as in vitro methods.

“In recent years Novozymes has invested considerable resources in developing in vitro methods that can reduce the number of animal experiments,” says Dr Roggen.

“The advantage is that we avoid using animals and remove the uncertainties that are associated with animal experiments. It is also cheaper, quicker and more ethical.”

Proggy awards

The Proggy awards are presented every year by PETA to people or organizations that distinguish themselves through their efforts within the area of animal welfare. PETA is the world’s largest animal rights organization with more than 1.6 million members and supporters.