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Synthetic livers developed to end animal drug testing

Dr. Mukund Chorghade, scientific officer of Empiriko Corporation and president of THINQ Pharma, presented a working model of a synthetic liver that is designed to eliminate animal testing for drugs and other products designed for human use at the March 18, 2014, session of the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Protesters for 'Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty' gather in front of the Bank of England on February 27, 2009, in London.
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

The patented chemosynthetic liver technology mimics the activity of enzymes in the liver. Enzyme breakdown of drugs in the liver are the major area of interest in drug development because the breakdown products are most often the compounds the produce harmful side effects.

The system can also test drug interactions without animal testing.

The development was initiated due to the European Union’s decree to reduce animal testing for drugs and other products used by humans. The benefit to drug manufacturers and chemical manufacturers are speed, a higher degree of reliability than animal testing, and extremely lower costs than using animals for initial developmental testing.

The advantage of being able to test multiple drug interactions on site is particularly important for an aging U. S. population. It is practically impossible to test all the potential detrimental effects of all drug combinations that a given patient may be prescribed using animals. The chemosynthetic liver technology can test for concurrent drug side effects for a practically infinite number of drugs in hours instead of years.

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