EARA member Ellegaard Göttingen Minipigs has marked 50 years of the company at its Scientific Symposium, in London, UK, which also looked at future biomedical research uses for its animal model.
After Lars Friis Mikkelsen (pictured), CEO of Ellegaard, opened the Symposium, a series of lectures explained the growth of the company and its long-term collaboration with the University of Göttingen, which originally bred the minipig, and examined the ways that the animal is used in toxicology testing.
Peter Vestbjerg of Ellegaard, explained that the Göttingen Minipigs is a good non-rodent model due to the adaptability of the minipig and its well managed genetics.
Examples of how minipigs are being used to test toxicity on compounds under development for Alzheimer’s and for anti-cancer drug development were given by Joanna Harding of AstraZeneca, and Sally-Anne Reynolds of Sequani, respectively.
From the University of Edinburgh, Michael Eddleston focused on translational medicine between animals and humans and how we can modulate human self-poisoning in Göttingen minipig models. “Pigs do save lives”, he said.
Henrik Duelund Pedersen of Ellegaard, concluded the symposium by listing the specific advantages of mini pigs in studies for dermal toxicity and reproduction among others.
Besides the scientific context, the importance of communication about the benefits of animal research to the public was highlighted by Kirk Leech, EARA Executive Director, and Wendy Jarrett, Chief Executive of Understanding Animal Research.
EARA Executive Director, Kirk Leech, described the work of EARA in the promotion of openness and transparency across Europe as well as the opportunities for greater openness on communicating animal research.
Wendy Jarrett presented the main areas of action of UAR in the United Kingdom and explained why and how it is important engaging with the public, sharing ideas and shaping a supportive environment for the use of animals, such as minipigs.
Further Ellegaard Scientific Symposiums are planned across Europe, including the 13th Minipig Research Forum on 22-24 May in Vienna, Austria. For more information follow the LinkedIn page and read the Newsletter.