California Research Pioneers Star in Bill Maher’s New Docuseries Exposing Dark Side of Science

For Immediate Release:
January 9, 2024

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Placentia, Calif.

Local InVitro International leaders Rich Ulmer and Rolf Kleiner helped spare countless animals’ lives by developing groundbreaking non-animal testing methods—and now, they’re appearing in a new docuseries from executive producer Bill Maher. The Failed Experiment pulls back the curtain on the multibillion-dollar experimentation industry in the U.S., exploring why there are so few cures and effective treatments for the deadliest diseases—including Alzheimer’s, many forms of cancer, Parkinson’s, and ALS. The series is now streaming. Available on Prime Video.

In the new docuseries, Ulmer and Kleiner discuss InVitro International’s development of Corrositex, the first government-approved animal-free method for examining the skin corrosivity of potentially harmful chemicals—which led several U.S. states to ban animal testing for his purpose. Ulmer also shares his firsthand experience working in the drug industry, recounting how an eye product that had been deemed safe after being tested on rabbits was recalled for causing serious adverse reactions in humans.

The Failed Experiment reveals how the country’s heavy reliance on archaic experiments on animals is causing the U.S. to lose its place as the world leader in research. Featuring interviews with scientists, experts from PETA, a Harvard University physician, and a former primate experimenter, the six-part series breaks down the wastefulness of the National Institutes of Health’s $45 billion annual budget—taxpayer money that’s used to treat animals in laboratories like pincushions and test tubes while humans die without cures for illnesses, even though modern, human-relevant, animal-free testing methods are readily available. It shines a spotlight on the failures of animal experimentation and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of animals in laboratories.

“We’ve all lost loved ones to diseases, but did you ever wonder why there are so few cures?” asks Maher. “The Failed Experiment dismantles America’s archaic research program and exposes the bias that is preventing progress.”

monkey with needle shadow over his face next to text "From Executive Producer Bill Maher. The Failed Experiment"

Every year, 110 million animals die in U.S. laboratories, but studies show that 95% of all new medications that test safe and effective in animals later fail in human clinical trials. PETA scientists’ Research Modernization Deal provides a comprehensive strategy for replacing such experiments with superior methods.

For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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