Soon the end of animal testing, the Nvidia bubble and the return to the Titanic

Perhaps a technological revolution was needed to finally wash away the shame of so many scientists in the face of the suffering of laboratory animals. There MIT Technology Review, in a long article, first recalls that 95% of the drugs tested on these poor animals turn out to be ineffective or unusable on humans. Hence the enthusiasm for new generation guinea pigs, artificial organs, organs-on-a-chip in English, rectangles of natural polymers streaked with channels filled with human cells, which imitate the real life of organs, breathing, the circulation of fluids and even the contraction of muscles and make it possible to confirm the true effectiveness of these drugs.

More than 60 companies today produce these “microphysiological systems” to conduct medical trials involving five major organs: the liver, lungs, kidneys, intestines and brain. For a long time, approvals of pharmaceutical products required the use of tests on two animal species, generally rats and dogs, before the clinical phase on humans. But a law signed by Joe Biden in December 2022, the FDA Modernization Act, finally authorizes the direct use of synthetic organs, in order to facilitate industry research and, ultimately, reduce the development costs that ultimately pay. race patients and their insurance.

The only downsides, for the moment: while tech finance is investing millions in these marvels of bioengineering, it is necessary to impose their standardization to guarantee the reliability of the results from one laboratory to another. And then, none of these new systems yet allows

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