Charles River to develop animal-free inhalation toxicology tests

Charles River Laboratories has launched a new program to come up with an animal-free alternative to inhalation toxicology tests, marking another move in its larger plan to reduce reliance on animal testing. Financial details were not disclosed. 

“We are deeply committed to advancing alternative methods, and this program is an important step toward removing the need for animal models in inhalation toxicology studies,” Shannon Parisotto, corporate executive vice president, global discovery and safety assessment at Charles River, said in a press release. 

The project was funded by a $1.3 million grant from the Foundation for Chemistry Research & Initiatives and the American Chemical Council’s Long-Range Research Initiative. The test will be developed by CRL’s Edinburgh, Scotland team, which will work with MatTek—the creator of a 3D human respiratory tract model called EpiAirway—and an R&D organization called Batelle, which will model the way inhaled chemicals are deposited in the lung. Greek Creek Toxicokinetics Consulting will work on the program as well.

CRL announced in April that it had launched the Alternative Methods Advancement Project, an initiative under which it’s investing in animal testing alternatives. On June 5, the company announced a partnership with Big Pharma Sanofi to replace animals with virtual controls in preclinical research.

Editor's note: This article was updated on June 11 to clarify what Batelle's modeling will entail.