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Animal research

12 - 04 - 2018

Academy of sciences : Therapeutic research and animal models

The Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Pharmacy recalled the necessity and the conditions of the recourse to animal models in research, during a common session this April 10th 2018.




The Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Pharmacy held a session on the topic : Therapeutic Research and animal models.


The goal of this session was to answer these couple questions :

  • Is it possible to create new medication without using animal models?
  • Where do the animal experimentation regulations come from?
  • How to inform the public?



Bernard Meunier(16:25) mentioned the role played by animal models in the history of the discovery of medicines, reminding his audience that in vivo toxicologystudies protect humans from dramatic toxic effects. Using a description of the research on Alzheimer’s disease, he shows that the absence of a good animal subject usually ends up in the absence of therapeutic progress.


Xavier Montagutelli(48:08) outlined the evolution and the content of current regulations. He asserted the need to maintain competence and expertise in the research teams to respect the spirit and the letter of these regulations, and practise scientifically valid research as well as being ethically acceptable. .


Pierre Corvol(1:22:13) presented the irreplaceable role of animal models in today’s research through three major pathologies: Duchenne muscular dystrophy, colon cancer, and arterial hypertension. He highlighted that the researcher must “take into consideration the animal as a whole, as we have to deal with Man as a whole”


Angela Sirigu(1:52:43) explained that in the field ofneurosciences, only primatesallow for the study of many aspects of brain function and a lot of its sicknesses.


Jean-François Bach(2:19:54) summarized the presentations and concluded that animal models are irreplaceable and essential but they aren’t a panacea. They can be absent or irrelevant,one shouldn’t be dogmaticand reflect carefully in all situations.