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Expert opinion

The need for non-human primates in biomedical research, production and testing of products and devices (update 2017)

Final Opinion

Description

SCHEER WG on non-human primates testing
SCHEER members: Peter Hoet, Renate Krätke, Emanuela Testai, Theo Vermeire
External experts: Romina Aron Badin, Michelle Epstein, Paul Andrew Flecknell, Michelle Hudson-Shore, David Jones, Jan Langermans, Mark Prescott, Alain Simonnard
Contact:SANTE-C2-SCHEER@ec.europa.eu
On request from: European Commission
Adopted on: 18 May 2017

Following a request from the European Commission, the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) reviewed recent evidence to update the 2009 Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHEER) on ‘The need for non-human primates in biomedical research, production and testing of products and devices’.

This Opinion responds to six main issues in the mandate and highlights the many scientific approaches that could significantly contribute to the replacement, reduction and refinement (3Rs) of Non-Human Primates (NHP) studies and tests. However, there are significant issues that go beyond scientific rationale that prevent widespread adoption and development of alternatives for NHP laboratory use and these are discussed with suggestions of the opportunities to overcome them.

Although the current state of knowledge does not permit to propose a timetable for phasing-out the use of NHP in Europe, the Opinion provides recommendations on how to advance 3Rs for NHP use, such as through alternative methods, training, improvement of techniques and protocols, sharing of knowledge and removal of barriers. Finally, research needs are given.

Keywords:

SCHEER, scientific opinion, non-human primates, biomedical research, toxicity testing, neuroscience, vaccines, infectious diseases, ophthalmology, (xeno)transplantation

Opinion to be cited as:

SCHEER (Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks), Final Opinion on ‘The need for non-human primates in biomedical research, production and testing of products and devices (update 2017)’, 18 May 2017.

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