As of 28 November 2011, Novo Nordisk will no longer use
living animals to test the quality of the batches of medicine
coming out of Novo Nordisk's production lines. These tests
have for years been required by health authorities as part of
their approval of the products.
"Today's achievement is a milestone in our ongoing commitment
to animal ethics in Novo Nordisk. We have been working for
more than a decade, in close collaboration with regulatory
authorities around the world, to eliminate obsolete tests or
develop and certify new laboratory assays that can be used
instead of animals to evaluate the consistent quality of our
marketed products," says Executive Vice President and Chief
Science Officer, Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen.
Novo Nordisk has a commitment to the 3R principles to
'Reduce', 'Refine' or 'Replace' the
use of animal testing within the pharmaceutical industry.
Therefore, a task force was established more than ten years
ago with the ambitious aim to eliminate all redundant
product control tests in living animals or replace them
with other test methods that would guarantee the same product
Live animals that have been used in these biological product
control tests include mice, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters and
rabbits. Over the years, the number of animals used in this
area has been gradually reduced from more than 13,000 animals
a year in the 90s, to 2,078 animals in 2000 and to 772
animals in 2010. The last living animals are used for a virus
control on 28 November 2011, and in 2012 the number of
biological product control tests performed on living animals
will be zero.
In the 90s Novo Nordisk reduced the total number of animals
used by almost 70%. Since then Novo Nordisk has been able to
keep the numbers at approximately the same level despite
increasing research activities year on year.
In 2010, the number of animals used in Novo Nordisk was
62,152. At present, some experiments on living animals are
essential for all pharmaceutical companies in the processes
of discovery and development of new pharmaceuticals. It is in
addition a requirement from the authorities that drug
candidates are tested in living animals before they can be
tested in humans.
See the video "A milestone in animal ethics" (duration 9
For more information, please contact:
Mette Kruse Danielsen
Media Relations Manager
Tel +45 3079 3883