3 Minute 3Rs April 2020

You’re listening to the April episode of 3 Minute 3Rs, brought to you by the NC3Rs, North American 3Rs Collaborative, and Lab Animal.

The papers behind the pod:

1. In Vitro Antiviral Activity and Projection of Optimized Dosing Design of Hydroxychloroquine for the Treatment of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32150618)

2. Engineering a 3D functional human peripheral nerve in vitro using the Nerve-on-a-Chip platform. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-45407-5 

3. Laboratory Animal Welfare Meets Human Welfare: A Cross-Sectional Study of Professional Quality of Life, Including Compassion Fatigue in Laboratory Animal Personnel https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2020.00114/full


Still social distancing, 3 Minute 3Rs is back with your April recap of efforts to replace, reduce, and refine the use of animals in research. Let’s get right to it, starting this month with a replacement paper related to a topic that’s probably near the top of many of our minds.

[NC3Rs] Understandably, within recent weeks the focus of scientific research has predominantly shifted to COVID-19. While many experiments investigating treatment options or vaccines may require animals, there are opportunities where the 3Rs could be implemented in COVID-19 research.

Researchers in Beijing have been doing just that by using in vitro and in silico methods to investigate the impacts of Chloroquine and Hydroxycholoroquine, two drugs that have recently received media attention. In their publication in Clinical Infectious Diseases, Yao et al used an established cell line to determine both drugs reduced the replication of COVID-19 in vitro. When administered prior to viral challenge, Hydroxychloroquine provided increased protection over Chloroquine. The group then used existing data from clinical trials and in vivo studies to develop an in silico physiologically based pharmacokinetic model and investigate potential effective dosing regimens in humans. The data from this publication are now being used to inform the design of a future clinical trial.

While further experiments will be needed to confirm whether Hydroxycholoroquine is able to help patients with COVID-19, the publication demonstrates there continues to be opportunities to apply the 3Rs in scientific research. And where these opportunities exist, the 3Rs principles should always be considered. 

 [NA3RsC] Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and ALS are often serious, life-threatening, and without a cure. Treatments can help, but finding drugs that work in final human clinical trials has been challenging. In part, this is due to the difference in biology between human and animal models. Microphysiological systems hold potential to increase translation but developing neural related models...

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