PETA International Science Group and Tobacco Companies Donate to Save Animals

Donated Equipment Will Help to Replace Animals in Respiratory Toxicity Testing

For Immediate Release:
August 22, 2019

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Gaithersburg, Md.

The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd., Imperial Brands PLC, Altria Client Services (ALCS), British American Tobacco (BAT) PLC, and Philip Morris International Inc have joined together to donate equipment that can help to replace the use of animals in respiratory testing with more human-relevant, non-animal test methods.

The equipment – worth $110,000 and manufactured by Germany-based VITROCELL Systems – was donated to the Institute for In Vitro Sciences (IIVS), a non-profit laboratory in Gaithersburg that conducts animal-free testing. It will be used in the IIVS in vitro respiratory toxicology laboratory, which helps companies assess the effects of tobacco, nicotine, and other aerosols on the human respiratory tract. Results from these tests will also help to show regulatory agencies, such as the US Food and Drug Administration, that non-animal methods are accurate and effective and can be used instead of tests on animals.

This donation follows the Science Consortium’s gift of five VITROCELL in vitro exposure systems to laboratories around the world. “This latest donation takes us one step closer to replacing the use of animals in inhalation testing,” says Dr Amy Clippinger, president of the Science Consortium. “Testing chemicals on cells in a way that mimics real-life exposure will lead to more human-relevant results and spare animals’ lives.”

Tanvir Walele, head of scientific research and harm reduction at Imperial Brands, comments, “We are delighted to contribute to the IIVS, a leader in the advancement of alternatives to animal testing, whose principles are in alignment with our own established position on using in vitro assays – preferably using human-derived cells. We believe these assays are a more relevant replacement for in vivo animal testing.”

“We actively support the development, validation, use, and regulatory acceptance of non-animal testing methods to minimize the use of animal tests and are pleased to be one of the companies supporting this donation,” says Dr Maria Gogova, vice president of regulatory sciences at ALCS.

“We are pleased to be an industry partner in this important initiative. IIVS’ leadership in in vitro approaches should help to ensure the adoption of a non-animal testing paradigm for tobacco and nicotine products. We are witnessing remarkable advances in in vitro methodologies at present; these have several possible applications including much faster test results that are much more physiologically relevant to humans, ” says Dr Marianna Gaca, head of pre-clinical assessment at BAT.


Altria Client Services‘ wholly owned subsidiaries include Philip Morris USA Inc; U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company LLC; John Middleton Co; Sherman Group Holdings, LLC, and its subsidiaries (Nat Sherman); Ste Michelle Wine Estates Ltd; and Philip Morris Capital Corporation. Altria holds an equity investment in Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, JUUL Labs, Inc, and Cronos Group Inc. For more information, please visit 

British American Tobacco is a global tobacco company with brands sold in more than 200 markets and a growing range of industry-leading potentially reduced-risk products. These include vapour, tobacco heating products, modern oral products including tobacco-free nicotine pouches, as well as traditional oral products such as snus and moist snuff. It employs more than 50,000 people worldwide and has over 200 brands in its portfolio. Its Strategic Portfolio is made up of its global cigarette brands (including Dunhill, Kent, Pall Mall and Lucky Strike). For more information, please visit 

At Imperial Brands Science, we undertake rigorous scientific research on our entire next-generation product portfolio. As a responsible manufacturer, our continued investment in furthering our scientific understanding and expertise using cutting-edge in vitro assays enables us to deliver high-quality products while meeting the ever-evolving needs of consumers and regulators. For more information, please visit 

The Institute for In Vitro Sciences, Inc, is a non-profit research and testing laboratory dedicated to the advancement of in vitro (non-animal) methods worldwide. Founded in 1997, the institute is unique in its position as a high-quality testing laboratory that also offers technical and educational resources to advance the use and acceptance of in vitro methods. More information can be found at 

The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. works to accelerate the development, validation, and global implementation of animal-free testing. It was established in 2012 to coordinate the scientific and regulatory expertise of its members – PETA US, PETA UK, PETA Germany, PETA India, PETA Netherlands, PETA France, PETA Asia, and PETA Australia. The Science Consortium and its members have donated millions of dollars towards helping to reduce and replace animal use. For more information, please visit 

Philip Morris International Inc (PMI) is leading a transformation in the tobacco industry to create a smoke-free future and ultimately replace cigarettes with smoke-free products to benefit adults who would otherwise continue to smoke as well as society, the company, and its shareholders. PMI is a leading international tobacco company engaged in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, smoke-free products and associated electronic devices and accessories, and other nicotine-containing products in markets outside the US. For more information, please visit 


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