Larvae-ly solution to animal testing problem: Tech firm seeks crowdfunding for new project
The firm will launch a drive this week to raise £100,000 from investors on crowdfunder.co.uk.
BioSystems co-founder Dr Olivia Champion says that the proceeds will be used to further its genetic mapping programme, which is aimed at making its insect larvae more relevant to researchers.
An estimated 115million tests are performed globally on animals every year, but tighter regulations, ethical concerns and rising costs are driving the search for viable alternatives.
While scientists were aware of the larvae’s potential as a substitute, quality and availability were problematic until Champion developed her TruLarv specially bred moths solution at Exeter University.
She said: “The only larvae sources were shops selling fishing bait and pet food. They were dirty, varied genetically and contained antibiotics and hormones that could affect the outcome of experiments.
“We provide standardised, decontaminated larvae that can be used in testing for diseases, poisons and developing new drugs cost-effectively.”
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