Humane care and use of laboratory animals
It is our mission to discover and develop safe and effective medicines for treatment of cancer and other life-threatening diseases with high unmet medical need. We have both legal and ethical obligations to ensure the safety and efficacy of our investigational new medicines prior to their use in humans. The use of laboratory animals represents an integral part of any biomedical research and development activities. While we are actively pursuing alternative methodologies to reduce and substitute the use of animals in our research, currently there are clear regulatory requirements to assess safety and efficacy of novel drug candidates in appropriate animal models before moving into clinical development.
Silence Therapeutics is committed to the welfare of all our animals used for its research and development programs, therefore:
- Our animal studies comply with national and international laws and guidelines for care and welfare for animals in research.
- We minimize animal numbers by using alternative scientific methods whenever appropriate and advance our research methodologies consistently. Animals must not be used if alternative research methods are available that produce comparable data to those obtained from using animals in research.
- In addition, every study involving the use of animals is subjected to an internal committee review for purpose and significance, for use of alternative methodologies, study design and feasibility in adherence to the 3Rs (reduce, refine, replace).
- We ensure that only certified employees, sufficiently trained and qualified in care and skills, are involved in conducting and planning of animal research studies.
- All our laboratory animals are consistently monitored for any signs of distress and pain by qualified staff members.
- Environmental enrichment in husbandry allows the animals to perform species-specific behavioral repertoire.
- We are in constant dialogue with our independent external animal welfare officer providing the latest information on animal husbandry and care.
- Contract research laboratories, that carry out work for Silence Therapeutics, need to observe the same animal welfare standards. We ensure that contractors adhere to local, national and international regulations and guidance and we carry out additional on-site visits ourselves as appropriate.
German Animal Welfare Act
The German Animal Welfare Act contains some of the strictest legislation in the world to ensure far-reaching protection for animals in research. Independent, external authorities, namely the State Office of Health and Social Affairs Berlin (Landesamt für Gesundheit und Soziales) and animal welfare officers on site monitor the adherence of all of Silence’s animal studies to the Animal Welfare Act and ensure their compliance with the latest scientific insights and highest standards in animal welfare. Our animal facility, programs and documentation are subject to regular inspections from external state and local authorities ensuring proper husbandry and care of research animals.