Gilead Sciences No Longer Using Chimps for Research

Gilead Sciences No Longer Using Chimps for Research

January 10th, 2013 // 2:04 pm @


After pressure from The Humane Society of the United States, Gilead Sciences has agreed to end the use of chimpanzees in research. The move comes after the animal-rights organization two months ago submitted a shareholder proposal urging the biotech to phase out the use of the primates in its medical research (back story).

At the time, Gilead declined to respond to questions about the proposal or its use of chimpanzees. However, the Humane Society says the biotech reached out afterwards to maintain that chimpanzees were not currently being used for research and committed to refrain from doing so going forward. The decision is effective immediately.

At the time that Humane Society publicized its shareholder proposal, the organization noted that a 2011 report issued by the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council concluded chimps are not necessary for most biomedical and behavioral research, and could not identify areas of current research for which chimps are essential. The report also offered criteria for when chimps can be determined for current and future research.

As we wrote previously, the Humane Society also maintained that a report presented in 2011 at the European Association for the Study of the Liver annual meeting discussed Gilead (GILD) chimp use at Texas Biomedical Research Institute to test its GS-9620 experimental treatment for the hepatitis B and C viruses. The Humane Society contended the study would “likely fail to meet the IOM criteria to establish necessity” (here is the report).

The Humane Society went on to note that Gilead previously indicated there were no plans to use chimps in hepatitis C research in the future, but the biotech did not respond to requests for information about whether chimps would be used for other types of research.

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