Testing on animals has been an important and integral part of advancing medicine for ages. In order for a new drug to get approval to be tested in humans, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that it be tested in animals first. However, while animal testing can indicate whether a drug may or may not be harmful if introduced into a human, it’s difficult to guarantee that any results gleaned from animal testing would translate to people. There are also the moral implications of testing on animals to consider.
However, a recent move by the FDA puts us on the path to cutting out that middle man, removing animals from the testing picture altogether.
Yesterday, the agency announced it will begin working with Emulate, a company that devised “organ-on-chip” technology that lives up to the company’s name by emulating organ function on a device smaller than a human thumb. The idea is …