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Alternatives to Laboratory Animals - ATLA

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A Call for a European Prohibition of Monoclonal Antibody Production by the Ascites Procedure in Laboratory Animals

Coenraad F.M. Hendriksen

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are particularly valuable in therapeutics and research. Unfortunately, one of the most familiar methods of producing mAbs, the ascites induction method, causes pain and distress to the animals used. In most cases, non-animal or in vitro alternatives can be employed to reduce or eliminate the use of animals for mAb production. Prohibition of the use of animals in the production of mAbs is recommended, except when the replacement in vitro methods prove to be insufficient, and in a limited number of other well-documented cases, such as an exceptional need for an emergency therapeutic application. A total ban on the use of animals for mAb production is impractical and it is imperative that an appeals process should accompany the prohibition. The need for the establishment of core facilities for in vitro mAb production is emphasised.