Research into medicines, food safety and risks of substances. How could this be improved, preferably without the use of laboratory animals?
There is no simple answer to this question. And things cannot always be done differently. Where they can, TPI aims to achieve what is best for both animals and humans. TPI stands for the Transition Programme for Innovation without the use of animals. Why? To give the transition to new technologies a boost. This involves the transition from animal testing to the use of technologies such as organs-on-a-chip or artificial intelligence, as well as possible combinations. In this way, the partners in the TPI programme are striving to develop different methods of learning about the origin and treatment of diseases. They are also working towards a new way of assessing whether something is safe for humans and can be sold: does a medicine have no side effects? Is exposure to a new chemical product such as a cleaning agent or paint actually safe?
Our mission is to create scope for model development and animal-free testing and to increase confidence in these methods. The models must predict the effect and safety of drugs and chemical substances at least as well, and preferably better, than existing methods. New technologies using data and knowledge about the construction and function of the human body offer opportunities for this. In this way, with scope for new approach methodologies, we wish to make animal testing increasingly superfluous. The TPI partners are active in various fields.
TPI adds value
Ten partners form the core of TPI, and these have joined forces to work on the Netherlands’ ambition to be a frontrunner in the international transition to animal-free innovation. In 2018, the partners deliberately chose to shift the focus from reducing animal studies to increasing animal-free innovation. This allows animal-free innovation to be discussed in a broad sense and gives very different stakeholders the opportunity to participate. After all, a mix of diverse interests and focus points from very different research domains, target sectors, technologies and policy dossiers will increase the chances of animal-free innovation.