Lush Prize at EUSAAT Congress


It’s been a busy conference season for the Lush Prize Team, with attendance at various scientific and animal protection conferences in Finland, Luxembourg and Poland.

Most recently we attended the annual EUSAAT (European Society for Alternatives to Animal Testing) Congress held in Linz, Austria.

This packed four-day conference at the Johannes Kepler University covered many different topics, including organ-on-a-chip, efficacy and safety testing of drugs, 3Rs in education and academia, advanced technologies in replacing animal use, as well as ethical and legal issues relating to animal testing.

Lush Prize sponsored the session on in-silico models and had a poster presentation on the same theme, featuring the in-silico work of previous Lush Prize winners. Amongst the previous winners presenting at the congress were 2013 Training Prize winner Anna Maria Bassi of the University of Genova, 2014 Lobbying Prize winner Francois Busquet of CAAT-Europe, 2018 Young Researcher winner Alexandra Damerau of Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin and 2012 Training Prize winner Nick Jukes of InterNICHE. LP Judge Lisbeth Knudsen also spoke about 3Rs funding of research activities in Denmark, while 2018 Andrew Tyler Prize winner Horst Spielmann, who is Chair of EUSAAT’s Scientific Committee, did a fantastic job of making the conference such a success.

A great session was held on the new book ‘Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change’, to which the Lush Prize Team contributed two chapters. Five of the authors presented on the failing of animal experimentation and the way forward to replace animal use.

Whilst certainly not all speakers and attendees of the Congress were on the same page when it comes to complete replacement of animal testing, discussions were robust and informative and it was good to see a strong inclusion of ethical and legal issues within the programme. It was particularly positive to see dedicated opposition to the use of Foetal Calf Serum as a culture medium in in-vitro studies because of the inherent cruelty in its production, with a whole session dedicated to ‘Initiatives for implementing serum free culture media’. With scientists from across Europe, as well as some from China, Japan and India, attending the conference, these wider messages about the efficacy and ethical issues of animal testing, as well as the modern replacement methods, will reach a global audience.

A highlight of the Congress was a keynote speech by Mihael H. Polymeropoulos, CEO of Vanda Pharmaceuticals on the courageous step his company has made in challenging US government agency requirements for cruel and unnecessary dog experiments. Read our separate blog about his speech here.

17 October 2019