BICO, a leading bio convergence company, entered a partnership with the Center for Contemporary Sciences (CCS), a research and advocacy organization championing the advancement of human-relevant methodologies in scientific research and drug discovery. Together the two organizations plan to closely align strategy and outreach efforts to support the passage of the bipartisan FDA Modernization Act of 2021, along with other initiatives to reduce animal testing in the life sciences industry.
The FDA Modernization Act would amend the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act legislation that requires all new pharmaceuticals to be tested on animals for safety and efficacy, regardless of whether such tests are predictive or relevant to outcomes in humans. With more than 80 years in existence, this regulation contributes to an estimated 100 million animals being experimented on each year for biomedical research in the U.S. alone, at least 90% failure rate in human clinical trials, and a staggering cost in the development of new pharmaceutical drugs, which is typically passed onto consumers.
One of the main goals of the partnership is to promote bio convergence technologies to accelerate human-relevant drug development and other applications, without experimentation on animals. Such technologies include advanced in-vitro tissue models, 3D bioprinting, organs-on-a-chip, and sophisticated microfluidics platforms.
“The Center for Contemporary Sciences will be a key ally in our efforts to help pass the FDA Modernization Act,” said Erik Gatenholm, CEO and co-founder at BICO. “Aysha and her team bring decades of experience in science, medicine, and policy to help develop and advance human-relevant technologies that drive positive change in the industry.”
The Center for Contemporary Sciences’ goal is to educate, connect, and support the scientific research industry with modern innovations but also replace experimental animal testing. With a science-driven mission that recognizes that animal models are not translatable to human biology, CCS places emphasis on human-relevant methods that currently exist or can be developed, to provide a more accurate human response and bring safer, more efficacious therapies to market for the benefit of patients.
“The partnership with, BICO, one of the most exciting and credible bio convergence forces in the industry today reflects our commitment to work alongside like-minded organizations to modernize the drug development process through dedicated advocacy efforts and discerning policies rooted in evidence-based science,” said CCS Chief Science Officer, Zaher Nahle, Ph.D., MPA. “It is also a realization of the vision of CCS co-founder and CEO, Aysha Akhtar MD, MPH, and the Board, to bring real change to a process that has been woefully neglected for far too long, and that would save both human and animal lives.”
The partnership also comes a month after CCS partnered with MatTek, a BICO company and leading developer of in-vitro human tissue models widely used in the drug-, cosmetic-, and chemical industries to replace animal testing.