For Immediate Release:
November 6, 2020
Amanda Tumbleson 202-483-7382
Washington – Please see PETA’s statement regarding Pitt researchers using llama antibodies to study coronavirus treatments:
Resources are best spent on the development of human-based—rather than llama-derived—antibodies. When rapidly searching for lifesaving vaccines and treatments, researchers are turning to fully human, non-animal antibodies (including nanobodies) for good reason. These antibodies overcome numerous scientific issues associated with antibodies derived from llamas, horses, camels, rabbits, mice, and other animals. In fact, animal-derived antibodies are one of the main drivers of the reproducibility crisis in research.
For scientific and ethical reasons, an end to using animals to produce antibodies was recommended by the European Union Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM), a government organization that plays a critical role in determining the scientific acceptance and regulatory use of non-animal testing methods within the EU as well as globally.
To share information about the applications and benefits of animal-free antibodies, the U.S. National Toxicology Program Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods, the PETA International Science Consortium Ltd., and EURL ECVAM have organized a free, publicly available webinar series. In the first webinar of the series, experts discuss the use of animal-free antibodies to develop vaccines and treatments, including against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. (View the recording here.) The following three webinars focus on the scientific and economic advantages, application, and accessibility of animal-free antibodies.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.