Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Cell Culture
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

£993,000 Challenge Funding Awarded to Develop Animal Research Alternatives and Refinements

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Bookmark and Share
CRACK IT seeks proof-of-concepts to replace, reduce and refine animal use across efficacy and safety testing.

The CRACK IT open-innovation platform has awarded £993,000 to 11 challenge finalists who have been given just six months to develop the most successful proof-of-concepts for five business and technology challenges in preclinical research.

The platform primarily contributes to funding replacement, reduction and refinement (3Rs) in the use of animals in research and testing and is the first to utilise a two-phase approach specifically for this purpose, which combines industry sponsors with research council funding.

A Phase 1 proof-of-concept stage has been introduced to the platform to enable the exploration of more high-risk, innovative technologies and improve the chances of a viable product at the end of the project.

A flagship initiative of the UK's National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), CRACK IT aims to develop new technologies to benefit the 3Rs from challenges put forward by industry and academic sponsors. A mixing pot of industry, academic institutions and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), CRACK IT combines funding with in-kind support from the sponsors - such as equipment and data.

2012 CRACK IT Challenges are:

•    The development of a cell-based/invertebrate approach to reproductive and toxicity screening to reduce and replace current mammalian methods.
•    Deploying a system to supply and use human, rather than animal, dorsal root ganglia for testing potential analgesic drugs.
•    Development of an imaging technique for detecting the distribution of large biomolecules in rodents, which in addition to reducing the use of animals will enable efficacy and safety studies to be ended earlier.
•    To improve rodent welfare, building a non-invasive system for monitoring mice in their home cage environment during behavioural studies.

The first CRACK IT 'mini challenge' funds the development of an injection aid suitable for use in rabbit studies to avoid potential eye damage associated with intravitreal injection. A marketable product is expected in six months.

The new two-phased approach has seen a total of 21 entrants showcasing their solutions to sponsors for up to £100,000 Phase 1 funding each for proof-of-concept development. Finalists will later pitch these proof-of-concepts in a 'Dragon's Den' style interview in July 2013, after which the successful challenge winners will be chosen to go through to Phase 2. Phase 2 winners receive up to £1 million further funding and 3 years to complete product development. Unsuccessful finalists may be given the option to combine or share data with challenge winners.

Making the announcement ahead of the NC3R's Annual Science Review meeting in London, Dr Vicky Robinson, Chief Executive, NC3Rs, said:

"CRACK IT supports SMEs and universities to develop their own marketable technology solutions. It is a leading example to the international scientific community of how the UK is using the latest approaches to fund alternatives to animal models and developing novel solutions to improve welfare where they continue to be used. Evolving the competition with a Phase 1 proof-of-concept approach ensures that more applicants get the chance to develop their ideas while reducing risk to the NC3Rs."

Additional funding to the NC3Rs from the Technology Strategy Board's Small Business Research Initiative and the Medical Research Council has made the Phase 1 proof-of-concept stage possible. Collaborating with the TSB is allowing the Centre to award contracts to universities, spin-off companies and SMEs. The new investment builds on the £3.5 million already funded under the CRACK IT scheme.


Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,700+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.


Scientific News
Women’s Immune System Genes Operate Differently from Men’s
A new technology reveals that immune system genes switch on and off differently in women and men, and the source of that variation is not primarily in the DNA.
DNA Damage Seen in Patients Undergoing CT Scanning
Along with the burgeoning use of advanced medical imaging tests over the past decade have come rising public health concerns about possible links between low-dose radiation and cancer.
Yeast Cells Use Signaling Pathway to Modify Their Genomes
Researchers at the Babraham Institute and Cambridge Systems Biology Centre, University of Cambridge have shown that yeast can modify their genomes to take advantage of an excess of calories in the environment and attain optimal growth.
New Material Forges the Way for 'Stem Cell Factories'
Researchers have discovered the first fully synthetic substrate with potential to grow billions of stem cells. The researchcould forge the way for the creation of 'stem cell factories' - the mass production of human embryonic (pluripotent) stem cells.
New Measurements Reveal Differences Between Stem Cells for Treating Retinal Degeneration
By growing two types of stem cells in a “3-D culture” and measuring their ability to produce retinal cells, a team lead by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital researchers has found one cell type to be better at producing retinal cells.
Researchers Identify Critical Genes Responsible for Brain Tumor Growth
After generating new brain tumor models scientists have identified the role of a family of genes underlying tumor growth in a wide spectrum of high grade brain tumors.
Growing Spinal Disc Tissue
Scientists develop new method for growing spinal disc tissue in the lab for combating chronic back pain.
A New Path Towards a Universal Flu Vaccine
New research suggests it may be possible to harness a previously unknown mechanism within the immune system to create more effective and efficient vaccines against this ever-mutating virus.
Potential New Class of Cancer Drugs
Scientists have found a way to stop cancer cell growth by targeting the Warburg Effect, a trait of cancer cell metabolism that scientists have been eager to exploit.
Human Trials of Manufactured Blood Within Two Years
The first human trials of lab-produced blood to help create better-matched blood for patients with complex blood conditions has been announced by NHS Blood and Transplant.
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,700+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FREE!