- What we do
Porton Biopharma Limited is committed to the ethical use of animals in the development and manufacture of our life-saving products. By signing the UAR Concordat on openness on animal research in the UK we have joined with more than 120 other organisations, including universities, charities & other commercial companies, who are committed to being more transparent about our work. This includes ensuring that all animals in our care are treated with full respect and that all staff involved show due consideration at all times. The most recent data on animal numbers used by us is reported below.
Our work is focused on the quality-assured development of biopharmaceuticals including Erwinase®, a childhood leukaemia therapy, and the UK’s anthrax vaccine. No animal testing whatsoever is performed in relation to the manufacture of Erwinase®. We do not undertake basic research using animals and we do not, or have not, undertaken any primate work.
The UK’s anthrax vaccine does have, as part of its licence, the requirement to undertake a limited number of animal tests to ensure each batch of the vaccine is safe and provides immunity. This involves mainly mice and guinea pigs, with more than half of this work classified as mild or moderate. By working to implement the 3Rs (Replace, Reduce and Refine) and through rigorous statistical analysis of our own data, we have in recent years been able to achieve a 25% reduction in the numbers of animals used per batch and in 2021 PBL also gained regulatory approval to replace one of the older legacy testing methods which will further reduce numbers.
Ongoing work is also being undertaken to change an assay to refine and reduce the use of animals.