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Statement on use of lab animals for biomedical research

Despite the huge advances in biomedical research, in some cases there is no substitute for animal experimentation. Therapy- and drug-discovery processes, to ensure efficacy and safety, make the most of testing without animals: in silico predictions, in vitro trials and tests on cell cultures or tissues. But in some cases it is still necessary to do in vivo trials (with animals).

Work with lab animals is governed by very strict European regulations and laws to safeguard and ensure the animals’ welfare and the 3 Rs are always applied (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement). Before starting any project that includes animal testing, the plan must be assessed by an Ethics Committee for Animal Experimentation (CEEA) and an authorised body to make sure the project complies with the provisions of article 34 of Royal Decree 53/2013. If the authorised body issues a favourable report, the project can seek approval from the competent body to carry out the project.

The Barcelona Science Park is part of a RETOS project to develop a new antifibrotic drug to treat hepatic fibrosis and myelofibrosis, diseases with high incidence worldwide without any treatment currently. The preclinical phase of the project, which will assess the safety of the candidate molecule, requires animal testing, in line with current regulations.

Under the framework of this project, part of the study has been outsourced and the contractor was selected through a public procurement process (open) as per the Law on Public Contracts, with total transparency and requiring the selected company to comply with all the requirements regarding solvency and hiring capacity, among others, as well as being certified in good laboratory practices (which the selected company renewed in October 2021).

The Barcelona Science Park management, the teams involved in the project and the CEEA all undertake to safeguard the welfare of the animals throughout the project.